Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April cupcake hero - Earth Day

The cupcake hero theme for April is Earth Day which was on April 23 (I think). The challenge was to create something that had a green theme. I wanted to make something that kind of represented New Zealand as we are known for our clean, green image. But kiwifruit cupcakes didn’t really do it for me!

So, I created these – chocolate and zucchini cupcakes. These are lovely little chocolate cakes, studded with the odd green fleck of zucchini and chunks of chocolate. If you didn’t know (as my husband didn’t) that they had zucchini in them, I think you would think these were just a chocolate cake. But the zucchini does provide some moistness.

As far as being appropriate for Earth Day, the zucchini are organic, purchased from my local market. They are out of season and were a bit fatter than I would like if I was eating them as a vegetable, bit they were good for these purposes. The eggs were free range and the flour while not organic, is bleach free. I really wanted to use fair trade chocolate as well, but I didn’t quite make the trip back to the organic shop, but I did use Cadburys which is NZ made.

More than likely you are wondering why on earth I have decorated my cakes with number 9s!! Well, I haven’t. The little green swirls are my NZ contribution to the creation. They are meant to be koru. A koru is the Maori name for the little fronds of the native fern. The koru symbolises creation and new life. This is a picture of what a real koru looks like.

So, Earth Day cupcakes – organic, healthy (ok, that’s a lie, but they contain vegetables!) and symbolising NZ and its clean green image. They taste pretty good

Chocolate & Zucchini Cupcakes

¾ c rice bran oil
¾ c castor sugar
2 eggs
2 medium zucchini, grated and then moisture squeezed out in a tea towel
125g dark chocolate, chopped
½ c wholemeal flour
¾ c plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ c cocoa
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp salt

· Beat together oil, sugar and eggs
· Add remainder of ingredients and stir to combine
· Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 170c for 18 –20 minutes
Ice with chocolate ganache (I use a 3:1 chocolate to cream ratio for icing)


Morven said...

They look YUM! I love the koru decoration - very clever.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how vegetables often make choc cake taste better. My fav cake is from Chocolate Earth and has BEETROOT in it. (I hate beetroot). These little cakes look really yummy!

marae said...

super cute entry!!! i went basic sweet veggie and did carrot cake but it came out TASTY! i love your poppin' green!

Cakelaw said...

These are very cute, and I love the fact that I have learned a new word - "koru". Thanks Tammy!

PheMom said...

Oh, what a great idea! I'll bet I could get my son to make and eat this with me. I don't like to hide the veggies from him, just show him all the ways they can be wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Those look so good. I love that you chose fronds for your decoration. Very cool.

maybelles mom said...

these are so lovely--I love the koru decoration. I had never seen a koru before.