Kabocha what?!

A couple of weeks ago, Lish called told me that her and her boss had picked me up a present. Now, if anyone told me this, I would be very excited, but because it was Lish, I was EXTRA excited. Lish and I share a love of good food, good fashion and good booze, so I naturally assumed my present would involve one of the three. Well... I was right. However, when I imagined my present as food, it did not look like this.

Lish and her boss got me a Kabocha squash. Commonly known as the Japanese pumpkin. They decided to buy me this Japanese pumpkin and see what recipe I could come up with. Of course, I am incapable of turning down a challenge, so I totally took the bait. So I turned my gift into muffins. And added a fritata. And it was awesome!

Since this was my first attempt at breakfast, I was extra excited my new food brunch came out great, but even mores so since our friend Liz was visiting and got to sample her first taste of my new obsession. She even took some amazing photos of the food (the ones in this blog included) and interviewed me for her website. Check out Liz, and her awesome website...

Love and Beer Floats

Note: I used Kabocha squash but you could use any squash. I also served it with apple butter instead of frosting because it was breakfast. But I bet the frosting is delish!

14 ounces butternut squash, skin on, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 1/4 cups light soft brown sugar
4 large free-range or organic eggs
Sea salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
Handful of walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Frosted Cream Topping:
1 clementine, zested
1 lemon, zested
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup sour cream
2 heaping tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
Lavender flowers or rose petals, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin tins with paper cups.

Whiz the squash in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the sugar, and crack in the eggs. Add a pinch of salt, the flour, baking powder, walnuts, cinnamon and olive oil and whiz together until well beaten. You may need to pause the machine at some point to scrape the mix down the sides with a rubber spatula. Try not to overdo it with the mixing - you want to just combine everything and no more.

Fill the paper cups with the muffin mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Check to see whether they are cooked properly by sticking a wooden skewer or a knife right into one of the muffins - if it comes out clean, they're done. If it's a bit sticky, pop them back into the oven for a little longer. Remove from the oven and leave the muffins to cool on a wire rack.

As soon as the muffins are in the oven, make your runny frosted topping. Place most of the clementine zest, all the lemon zest and the lemon juice in a bowl. Add the sour cream, icing sugar and vanilla seeds and mix well. Taste and have a think about it - adjust the amount of lemon juice or icing sugar to balance the sweet and sour. Put into the fridge until your muffins have cooled down, then spoon the topping onto the muffins.

Serve on a lovely plate (on a cake stand if you're feeling elegant, or on a rustic slab if you're more of a hunter-gatherer type!), with the rest of the clementine zest sprinkled over. For an interesting flavor and look, a few dried lavender flowers or rose petals are fantastic.