Thursday, 9 April 2015

Celeb chef Jamie Oliver & Moshi Monsters with a healthy & tasty Butternut Squash Muffin recipe.

In my dreams I am one of "those" mothers. The sort who love to bake with their children and who can cleverly whip up scrummy treats which are healthy as well as tasty. I'm probably wearing something floral and standing at a baby blue Aga in my dreams.

This week, thanks to Jamie Oliver I got to be that mother for a day (without the Aga sadly) producing gorgeous butternut squash muffins topped with a zingy frosting with the help of my youngest daughter using one of the simplest recipes ever!

And what prompted me to abandon my normal plain fairy cake recipe? (my deprived children don't even get cupcakes!)  Well Jamie Oliver has teamed up with Furi from Moshi Monsters to inspire young budding chefs around the world to get into the kitchen and learn how to cook.

 To celebrate the new partnership I was sent a hamper of ingredients and Jamie Oliver and Moshi Monster goodies and challenged to try my hand at the recipe along with my Moshling-mad daughter.




Jamie is well known for his belief that food education is a human right for every child and the more children know about what they are eating, the healthier they will be. Well it's certainly been my experience that my children are much more likely to eat something new and different if they have had a hand in preparing it.

Jamie, who has been given a Moshi Monster makeover to transform him into "fangtastic" Jammie Olive Oil,  and Furi have been cooking up a storm in Jamie’s kitchen to create the delicious Butternut Squash Muffins that I had a go at. 

The one off video which was revealed on Jamie’s Food Tube channel today (April 9) results in the chef receiving a bowl of Gloop Soup over his head!

Furi is just one of the latest guest stars on Jamie’s Food Tube channel, with the chef regularly welcoming fellow YouTubers and chefs to join him in the kitchen. With expert tutorials, easy to follow recipes and good food, Jamie and Furi are aiming to excite a new generation of chefs to get creative.


Jamie Oliver said, “My kids love Moshi Monsters and are big fans, so to get transformed in to a Moshling character has made me the coolest dad ever. The fact that I'm able to encourage children to start cooking makes this partnership even better. Kids are never too young to start learning about different fruits and vegetables, or even how to cook, and this year I’m hoping Food Tube will encourage more people to be creative with their cooking.”

I actually had limited time on the day I had set aside to make our muffins and was worried the baking would take time and be fiddly. But of course this is a Jamie Oliver recipe which meant my 8 year old daughter just bunged the ingredients into our ancient food processor (including the chopped butternut squash still with the skin on - lots of smug mother points there!) and pressed the button.


Electronically whizzed to a rough consistency she then dolloped the mix into muffin cases we picked up in our favourite shop where everything costs £1. They smelled divine as they cooked (they took about 25 minutes) and my sister in law who had popped in put in a request for one of the finished muffins to be saved for her. We checked they were "done" by inserting a skewer and making sure it came out clean. 


After cooling the icing was literally minutes in the making as I stirred icing sugar into sour cream and added lemon zest and vanilla pods. I wish I could waft the smell of it out at you as I could have eaten a bowl of that on its own.

We spooned the icing onto the cool muffins then proudly conveyed them to our church fund-raising tea party where children and adults alike wolfed them down. We didn't tell them about the butternut squash until after they had licked their fingers and even knowing the unusual ingredient everyone asked for the recipe.

If fast and healthy treats which earn you top mom points sound good to you I have great news - here is that recipe. But don't forget to pop along to Jamie's Food Tube channel to watch him make his muffins with a bit of help from Furi. It's very funny!


Jamie and Furi’s Butternut Squash Muffins: 

Ingredients: 

  • 200g butternut squash (skin on)
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 heaped tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • big handful walnuts
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 75g sour cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • zest 1 lemon
  • (optional a few seasonal berries) 
Method:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases.

On a chopping board, carefully cut the neck-end off the squash (save the rest for another day), trim away the stalk, then cut into rough chunks (there’s no need to peel it). Place in a food processor and whiz until finely chopped.

Crack in the eggs, then add the sugar, flour, baking powder, walnuts, cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil and a tiny pinch of salt. 

Whiz again until just combined – you may need to stop the processor after a couple of seconds and scrape the mix down from the sides with a spatula to help it mix evenly. Try not to overdo it with the mixing – you want to just combine everything and no more.

Use tablespoons to fill the paper cases three-quarters of the way up with mixture. Bake in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden, risen and cooked through. To check if they’re done, stick a cocktail stick or skewer into the middle, remove it after 5 seconds and if it comes out clean they’re cooked; if it’s slightly wet cook for a little longer.

Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tray, then carefully place them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, finely grate the lemon zest into a mixing bowl. Add the soured cream to the bowl and sift in the icing sugar. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add them to the bowl. Gently mash half of the berries (if using) and add to the bowl, then mix well. 

Once cool, spoon the icing onto the cakes, then decorate with the remaining berries, if you like. Now, tuck in!

Disclaimer: I was gifted a hamper with food and goodies as a thank you for taking part in this challenge. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.

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