Roasted pumpkin spiced cupcakes with festive frosting

How much orange have you guys been getting in this October? Yknow what I mean – pictures of golden and fiery-hued leaves scattered on the ground, the formidable latte, pumpkin-carving, Halloween costume prep…the list goes on!

The last time we visited Fermes de Gally we picked up about 4 little sugar pumpkins and one huge butternut squash. I’ve slowly been using up the pumpkins for soups mainly but all this week I’ve had my eye on the last one to make pumpkin cupcakes. These turned out so much better than I thought – I wasn’t expecting the flavour of the pumpkin to come out that well but it had a rich, warming taste alongside the spices.

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Too effing irresistible

Ingredients

1 sugar pumpkin – weighed in at just under 500g
Powdered cinnamon or 4 spices – between 4-5 tablespoons
220g plain flour
5g baking powder
100g powdered brown cane sugar (the frosting will be quite sweet to compensate)
2 eggs
120ml olive oil (I put abit too much in, so added 2 tablespoons of honey to mask the taste)

Method

Peel and dice the pumpkin. Place in a roasting dish with a drizzle of oil, and about a tablespoon each of brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Roast in the oven for 20m or until soft on 200C.

Beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Add to the flour, cinnamon/4 spices and baking powder. When the pumpkin is ready, mash well and add to the mixture.

Divide the batter into cupcake cakes and bake for about 15m on 200C. Allow them to cool completely before piping the frosting, otherwise it will just melt into a big mess.

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Winter light is not my friend…

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Frosting

200g of cream cheese
50g of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
300g powdered sugar
Red and yellow food colouring

Method

Beat all the ingredients together using an electric whisk. Divide the mixture in two, adding the food colouring to one half. This will produce a lovely orange tone leaving the other natural. Leave both bowls in the fridge for at least 30m to firm up before piping.

When ready, scoop the mixtures into separate piping bags with a nozzle of your choice, and get to it! I Youtubed a bunch of videos to get an idea of what I wanted and am really pleased with the patterns!

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Home improvements

Coucou tout le monde!

I don’t know about you guys, but I know that trying to get creative in the kitchen with limited space and resources is a bitch. We constantly bemoan the fact that ours is so ill-equipped: it lacks adequate counter space, there’s no freaking oven, and we don’t have enough cupboards to store our food. Well, we didn’t.

We made the decision last week to order a kitchen unit of 8 cupboard units AND an oven!!! We used this French website where you can literally buy everything -from an Xbox to washing machines – for a lot cheaper than the going retail price. In a way it was kind of risky because we obviously weren’t able to look at the material and quality of the kitchen in the flesh, but having bought stuff before from the site we knew we could trust it. And guess what, it paid off.

Louis, the goddamn angel, mounted all the units himself over 2 days. He cleared out our old worktop table, scrubbed from top to bottom and got pretty handy with an electric drill. I guess men are useful for some things eh! The result as you can see is amazing – there were colours ranging from bright red to aubergine but this wooden tone with a charcoal surface top was the best looking.

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All we had on the right-hand side before was a table, microwave-oven and a shelf!

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Mwah!

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Seeing as we’re both big foodies, cooking never feels like a chore. The thing I’m most excited to do when I get home from work is cook a tasty (and usually healthy) meal. An apology to the feminists out there, but I’m so excited to spend even more time in the kitchen.

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See the oven in the centre?! Hallelujah!

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The teapot and steam-bubble stickers add a playful touch – plus we can write on them with chalk!

We also did a bigggg general clean and sort out of the entire flat – we’ve ended up throwing out so much junk, clothes and useless furniture that it feels like you can breathe again. Life admin – done. High-five for teamwork!