Sometimes, I believe making a bit of effort to present your own food makes all the difference. Look at these, for instance They are simply cheesy courgette cupcakes, but the decoration, I think, makes them look like something you would find in a top-class bakery. And yet, these are dead easy to make. Spoiler alert: the recipe was inspired by that featured in a past issue of the Yummy Magazine, although I have completely changed all of the quantities and added some stuff, so this is my version – the original recipe did not even feature courgettes in the cupcakes, which I thought was a massive mistake. Mint and courgette (especially together with feta) are a match which simply works. If you’re not a big fan of mint, then try and substitute it with basil, although you will loose the freshness and the bite provided by the mint.
This is a very original idea for canapes to serve before a meal. As you can see from the pictures, I served these alongside some sandwiches and some stuffed cherry tomatoes and, needless to say, they went down a storm. I also like the fact you can make extremely tasty entrees without resorting to the classic (and stodgy) sausage rolls. And let’s not forget these are vegetarian friendly! In the recipe, I used rapeseed oil as I believe that provides an extra golden hue I love, but feel free to use any vegetable oil instead. Don’t even think of using extra virgin here – the heat of the oven would destroy its flavour.
Ingredients (for the cupcakes)
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 50ml rapeseed oil
- 100ml sour cream
- 60g Gruyere, grated
- 125g grated courgettes
- 50g feta, cut into very small cubes
- 1 tsp dried mint
Ingredients (for the decoration)
- 100g full-fat cream cheese
- 100ml double cream
- fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 courgette, boiled until tender
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with some butter, then set aside.
- In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the cupcakes by try not to overmix (use a spatula or a spoon instead).
- Spoon into the muffin tin and fill the holes about 3/4 to the top. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden and springy. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- To decorate the cupcakes, run a small knife around the sides of each hole to remove the cupcakes.
- In a bowl, whisk the cream cheese and double cream. You won’t need to do this for a long time as the cheese will make the cream whip faster. Try not to overwhip the mixture, you are looking for a smooth and soft consistency. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, then pipe a small dollop on each cupcake.
- Decorate with half a slice of the boiled courgette and a mint leaf (optional). Enjoy!