Lots of Little Cupcakes!

My regular posts on this blog have gone AWOL but I assure you that there has still been lots of baking going on when possible πŸ™‚ I have been so obsessed with mini cupcakes lately! Instead of a recipe I’ll just explain them because there are so many….!

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These babies above are plain vanilla with vanilla buttercream that I spread on lazily with a knife and sprinkled with confetti, and below are some chocolate ones with piped chocolate buttercream πŸ™‚ It’s the same batch but I added cocoa to half the mixture.

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The cuties above had some lemon zest and juice added to plain vanilla batter and I piped some buttercream flavoured with zest and juice on top, with a slice of more lemon zest.

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I got a bit extravagant when I photographed these ones and added some MAC… why not?! They are plan vanilla with soaked some Monin rose syrup and then some piped Rose Monin-flavoured buttercream and a dried rose petal.

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These ones are just vanilla cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream and a cute pink jellybean on top. And below are a cute mix of them!

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These ones weren’t as pretty as I expected 😦 But hey, they are all chocolate flavoured! I found those white chocolate disks with sprinkles on top at a pick’n’mix in a store close to where I work and I had to use them somehow….!

Anyway, that’s a small update on my baking adventures lately, I promise I have some recipes coming soon!

Happy Easter and happy baking!

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Honey Lemon Petit-Fours

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It was winter. Edible flowers had been located. Lemon and honey drinks had been consumed in the double digits to cure the sore throats and coughs. Why not combine all of these into bite-size cake form? Those of you in the northern hemisphere seem to be looking forward to fall/autumn so hopefully this recipe will inspire some lemon and honey recipes πŸ™‚

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I made a plate of goodies for some friends and features some caramel slice (find the best recipes here and here) and some little pieces of this pumpkin and blueberry tart πŸ™‚

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Honey Lemon Petit-Fours
Ingredients:
Cake:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 cup yogurt
Zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 cup flour
Icing and filling:
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp butter
2 Tbsp both raspberry jam and marmalade
To decorate:
Edible flower petals

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm square cake tin.

Mix the Β cake ingredients together (if your honey is creamed, you will want to soften or melt it a bit first). Pour into the tin and bake for about 15 minutes, until a cake skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin.

Cut the cake in half. Annnnd now cut it into half again so you have quarters. Spread some jam on one quarter and place another on top. Repeat with the other quarters and the marmalade. Cut each quarter into four petit-fours (there are a lot of ‘fours’ going on here). Now to ice! In one little bowl, heat half the icing sugar, half the butter and about a tsp of the jam until a glaze forms. Spread on top of the jam filled cakes and arrange some petals on top. Repeat with the marmalade on the marmalade filled petit-fours. Leave until the glaze is set.

Makes 8 petit-fours, and the cake can be made the day before as it lasts very well πŸ™‚

 

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Enjoy your week!

Sami xx

Lots of Vegan Cupcakes! (Baklava, Pumpkin Pie and Strawberry, Lemon and Coconut)

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I have been experimenting πŸ™‚ Thank you internet and vegan margarine for these glorious cupcakes and addictive frosting….

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Sometimes things aren’t the same without dairy or eggs…. but it’s the thought that counts and you can still have buttercream without the butter. Some purists would disagree (and hey, all things in moderation I guess!) but life is too short to go without the things to you want, especially when they fit your lifestyle choices. Hence, let them eat cupcakes! In three flavours, depending on the mood.

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Or the season perhaps! These pumpkin pie cupcakes above scream ‘winter’ and the coconut ones below remind me of a summer mocktail or smoothie.

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Plus cupcakes are pretty πŸ™‚ Shout out to Anna Olsen for the cupcake recipe and to all the customers at the work who picked up one for an afternoon or morning weekend treat πŸ˜€

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For the Baklava Cupcakes
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes with HALF the recipe, adding 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cardamom to the dry mixture
(makes 12)
Filling:
1/3 cup berry jam
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Icing:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups (roughly) icing sugar
2 tsp vegan milk
1 tsp rosewater
Dye or berry juice to tint if desired
To decorate:
Walnut pieces
Flaked almonds
Toasted pistachios, chopped

Instructions:
Mix together the jam and cardamom. Once the cupcakes are cooled, cut out the insides and fill with jam. Cut off a but of the piece you cut out of the cupcake and place back on top, like a delicious cake lid.

Beat the icing ingredients together until nice and light and fluffy, adding the icing sugar gradually. Depending on the butter substitute you use, you may need to use a bit more or less milk to get a nice airy pipable frosting. Also adjust the rose water to your taste too πŸ™‚

Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe away! As you can see from the photos from the top view, I tried two ways to pipe with a star nozzle; from the outside to the inside (top cupcake) and the opposite, centre to edges (bottom). Do whatever you like πŸ™‚ Decorate with the chopped nuts.

Makes 12, which are just as delicious the next day!

For the Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes here (I didn’t make them gluten free), up the cinnamon to 1 tsp and add some 1/2 tsp ground ginger too, and leave out the chocolate chips
For the caramelised walnuts:
Handful of walnuts
2 tsp maple syrup
Dusting of cinnamon
For the frosting:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups (roughly) icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp maple syrup
To decorate:
The walnuts from above,
Plus chopped dried apricots
Also some pumpkin seeds (which I didn’t have)

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 180 degrees. On a lined tray, mix the walnuts, maple syrup and cinnamon together until the nuts are coated and toast for about 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.

For the frosting, beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy (may need a little less or more sugar depending on your margarine/butter substitute). Ice the cupcakes, and decorate with the chopped walnuts and apricots.

Makes 12 and they last very well πŸ™‚

For the Strawberry, Lemon and Coconut Cupcakes
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes (half the recipe) replacing half of the milk with coconut cream and adding 1 tsp lemon zest to the batter (makes 12)
Filling:
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 strawberries, finely chopped
Frosting:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup chopped strawberries
2 tsp lemon juice
Pink dye or some beetroot juice to colour if desired
To decorate:
Coconut threads
Lemon zest and/or slices

Instructions:
Start with preparing the strawberries for the frosting: heat them in the microwave for 20 second bursts on high until the juices come out of them and they are soft. Chill until cool.

Whip the coconut cream until light and fluffy and then mix in the lemon zest and berry pieces. ‘Core’ the cupcakes and trim the core. Fill with the cream filling and place the ‘lid’ back on top.

Beat the butter substitute, icing sugar (adding a bit at a time), lemon juice and as much of the strawberry juice that you chilled as you can get from them (eat the pulp leftover with yogurt!). Beat until light and fluffy, adding more or less icing sugar as needed. Ice the cupcakes, then decorate with the coconut threads and lemon zest.

Makes 12 and they are delicious the next day πŸ™‚

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Rose Syrup and Lemon Layer Cake

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It would appear that the angular shape of this cake matches the photos! I have none from an angled perspective, so I will leave you to imagine it, or even make the cake πŸ™‚ Even though there are a few elements, it’s actually all pretty simple and there are no fancy ingredients except for the rose syrup (bought accidentally for margaritas). You can even leave out the syrup or maybe use rose water.


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It’s actually quite light and fluffy, I tried to embrace my inner Japanese-patissier. Then I ruined that a little with the traditional buttercream, but hey, life is a work in progress.

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Β 

Lemon and Rose Syrup Layer Cake
Ingredients:
Sponge Cake:
2 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Frosting:
30g butter
1 cup icing sugar
Pinch of lemon zest, some lemon juice
Rose Cream Filling:
1/8 c cream
1 tbsp rose syrup
To decorate:
More syrup
Lemon Slices

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until very light and pale. Sift the flour and baking powder on top and fold in very gently. When just combined, pour into the tin and bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool in the tin.

When cool, make the frosting. Beat the softened butter, icing sugar, lemon zest and about 2 tsp lemon juice until light and fluffy, adding a dash of milk if the icing is too thick.

Now whisk the cream and rose syrup until stiff, but not over beaten. We don’t want any butter now….

Unmold the cake and cut into three even layer, long rectangles. On top of two of the layers, spread on a thin layer of lemon frosting. On the last one, spread on the rose cream. Stack them, so that the rose layer in the middle. Pipe the remaining lemon frosting onto the top of the cake in whatever way you like, I did rows of dots. Arrange lemon slices on top and some dots of rose syrup if you like.

Makes 1x20cm long cake, which you can bake the day before and assemble on the day.

Β 

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Macarons Three Ways: Lemon, Berry and Lavender & Dark Chocolate

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Gasp! More successful macarons?! This makes up for my puff pastry tarts that stuck to the tin the other day!

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As you can see, I went a little crazy with the use of white shells: food colouring splatter was definitely on the cards.Β 

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And painting…. sadly the tops of some of them were a little pointed, demonstrated above….
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I don’t have much else to write, so I’m going to spam you with pictures instead πŸ™‚Β 
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T
hese last ones here were a last minute addition with some leftover berry frosting from some melting moments (recipe to come). I like these the best πŸ™‚

Lemon Macarons:
Ingredients:
Macaron shells from this recipe here, not coloured.
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
Some lemon curd to fill
Yellow food colouring

Instructions:
First, dilute the food colouring a little and paint the macaron shells with a lemon slice pattern. Leave to dry for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, soften the butter and beat with the icing sugar, zest and lemon juice until smooth. You may have to add a bit more icing sugar or lemon juice, it should be a pipeable consistency. Pipe a ring of icing around the edge of half the macarons, leaving a little hole for the filling. The icing will spread a little when you sandwich them together so don’t go too close to the edge! Spoon in some lemon curd and place another shell on top. Voila! Repeat and eat!

Lavender and Dark Chocolate Macarons
Ingredients:
Macaron shells from this recipe, not coloured
1 Tbsp water
2 Lavender heads, dried or fresh…. (and clean πŸ™‚ )
1 Tbsp dark drinking chocolate
1/2 cup icing sugar
Blue and purple food colouring

Instructions:
Start by setting up an area where you can flick food colouring without regretting it later….

Dilute the food colouring a little with water and flick into the shells by running your finger along the top of the brush to flick. Do some different colours if you like. Leave to dry while you make the filling.

For 30 seconds, heat the lavender heads in the water in the microwave on high. Stir and repeat. Add in the chocolate mixture to dissolve, then add the icing sugar. (You could add some dutch cocoa and a little more icing sugar instead of drinking cocoa). Sandwich between the macarons and leave to set.

AND for the Berry Macarons….
Make the shells from the recipe above, and to fill, beat:
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp berry puree/coulis
1/2 cup icing sugar
Until soft and combined, adding a little more icing sugar if needed.
Sandwich between the cookies and leave to set! πŸ˜€

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Lemon Meringue Layer Cake

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This cake was vegan before I slathered it with Italian meringue and stuffed it with Lemon Curd. Thankfully you can now easily make vegan meringue at home, so everyone can enjoy the delights of a lemon-meringue concoction πŸ™‚

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It was tart, sweet, with a rich crumb and… I couldn’t think of a joke to do with the ‘tart, sweet and rich’ comment so perhaps you will have to imagine your own, I’m a little tired today πŸ˜€

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I tried to do an ombre effect in the icing but I didn’t have food colouring and only used some leftover curd. It just thinned out the icing so it wasn’t very successful, so hopefully I will have another opportunity to try it again πŸ™‚

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It makes a damn big cake, so maybe half the recipe if you are baking for the sake of it πŸ™‚

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Lemon Meringue Gateau
Ingredients:
Cake:
3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp vinegar
6 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups water
Curd:
1 1/3 cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp lemon zest
Italian Meringue:
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
3 egg whites

Instructions:
We begin with the lemon curd filling! Over low heat, mix the sugar and lemon juice until dissolved. When it has reduced slightly, mix in the egg yolks and lemon zest, and continue to stir over low heat until thickened further. When the curd coats the back of a spoon and you can draw a line (or a smiley face!) without the curd filling it back in. Pour into a bowl or container and cool completely, then chill in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease two 20cm diameter cake tins.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and lemon zest until combined. Make a well in the centre and pour in the lemon juice, vinegar and oil. Pour the water on top and whisk or mix until there are no lumps left. Pour, divided as evenly as possible, into the tins and bake for about 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins.

Before you make the icing, you need to have everything ready! Cut the cakes into two layers and spread some lemon curd in between. Place the bottom layer on your cake serving plate or stand.

For the meringue, place your egg whites in a super clean bowl, either separate or as part of your mixer. Now in a saucepan, gently heat the sugar and water until 118 degrees Celsius, making sure there are no sugar crystals on the sides. When almost at the right temperature, start to whisk the egg whites until frothy. When the sugar syrup is ready to go, beat the egg whites on high and incorporate the sugar syrup in a thin stream at the side of the bowl. Continue to whip on high for a few more minutes until cooled. On top of the first layer of cake, spread a layer of meringue and place the other layer on top.

Working quickly, dump most of the meringue frosting on the top of the cake and start to spread it down the sides of the cake. I added a little bit of lemon curd to the rest of the frosting and spread it down the bottom of the cake, giving a bit of an ombre effect. This is optional, and for a more intense effect, use food colouring. Otherwise, the frosting becomes too liquid-y.

Leave to set and serve! It’s best eaten on the day it’s made, because the frosting can become sticky. Makes a large cake.

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Lemon, Olive Oil and Blueberry Muffins

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Let’s just ignore how inconsistent my oven is for a moment, and enjoy the idea of fresh muffins! For breakfast is the best.

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These ones have a crunchy topping and lots of blueberries to contrast the tangy lemon. This recipe is pretty much an adaptation of this one here. Olive oil adds a bit of richness to the flavour this time.

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These are what I would call proper muffins; I can get quite passionate about the differences about cupcakes and muffins. Bakeries are fooling you. But I won’t get into that today. Happy Friday, and I hope you have a weekend full of relaxation and maybe even a fresh batch of muffins!

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Lemon, Olive Oil and Blueberry Muffins
Ingredients:
Muffins:
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup any sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 egg
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup-ish milk
Topping:
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 12-hole muffin tray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg and pour in the olive oil. Whisk the two together, thenΒ add half the milk. Start to gently fold the mixture. Add the blueberries and some more milk, as needed for the mixture to be wet but not runny. Keep gently folding until just combined. If there are a few lumps, it’s okay! {Trust me, my mum has told me time and time again that it’s fine, and she created this recipe from scratch and even made a recipe book purely devoted to muffins. She’s cute}. Spoon evenly into the muffin holes.

Mix the raw sugar and lemon zest and sprinkle on top of the muffins. Bake for 15 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool slightly, then unmold and eat warm! Or cold. But the best is warm.

Makes 12, and they are not quite as good but still delicious the next day.

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Lemon Strawberry Mille Feuille

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I know this is the second Mille Feuille recipe in a row but… they are just that good! (And that much of a good way to use up puff pastry). That and Palmiers (below), which are so easy to make it’s not funny and are full on cinnamon-y goodness.

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You could use whatever berries you like, all berries seem to go amazingly with lemon. I would recommend using the edible flowers, they give a really nice splash of colour! I used nasturtiums.

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Enjoy your week, and Happy Monday!

Lemon-Strawberry Mille Feuille
Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 cup cream
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp icing sugar
Handful of strawberries
To decorate:
Lemon zest
Strawberries
Edible petals

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and get out two baking trays. Cut the puff pastry into three sections (like in the picture). Place a sheet of baking paper and sprinkle 1 Tbsp white sugar on top. Place on the sheets of puff pastry and sprinkle on the other 1 Tbsp sugar on top. Place on another sheet of baking paper and finally place on the other baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the top baking tray and cook for 10 more minutes until golden and crisp. Cool on the tray.

Whip the cream and mix in the lemon zest and icing sugar. Chop a few of the strawberries into small pieces. Cut each piece of puff pastry into 6 even pieces/slices. Spoon the cream into a piping bag and pipe on top of each piece of pastry. On 2/3 of the pieces, place chopped strawberries into the middle. On the last pieces, decorate with berries/petals and lemon zest.

Stack the pastry pieces so that there are two strawberry layers and then a decorated layer on top. Enjoy!

Makes 6, and you can chill them until served. They aren’t quite as good the next day but they are still delicious πŸ™‚

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Lemon and Wellington Blackberry Tart [for One]

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Sometimes, among the urban landscape of cities and suburbs, hunter-gathering can come in handy. Which is why I present a healthy tart showcasing some Wellington City Blackberries!

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I made a date-almond crust and filled it with yogurt; what could be healthier than that?Β IMG_2806

I am currently using Starbucks wifi as our flat is still to be set up, so I shall leave you with many pictures and a recipe. Have a good week everyone πŸ™‚

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Lemon and Wellington Blackberry Tart
Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 cup almonds
3 medjool dates
Coulis:
1/3 cup blackberries
1 tsp honey
To fill:
1/3 cup yogurt
To decorate:
Leftover coulis
Edible flower petals

Instructions:
Blitz together the almonds and dates until a crumbly paste forms. Press into a 10cm diameter tart tin and freeze for half an hour. Meanwhile, heat the blackberries and honey until thick. Cool completely.

To assemble, spread a very thin layer of coulis onto the bottom of the tart shell. To half the yogurt, add some coulis until you have a nice purple colour. Spoon on top of the coulis over. Finally, and very carefully, spoon the plain yogurt on top of the berry yogurt layer. Take out of the tart tin. Decorate with leftover coulis and flower petals and serve.

Makes one, and is best served right after assembly.

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Lemon Zucchini Bread

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This delicious and quick snack bread is sweetened with powdered stevia, and will 100% satisfy your afternoon tea cravings πŸ™‚

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If you don’t have any powdered stevia, you could add more sugar and sweeten to taste. I can’t tell you if it’s as good toasted the next day because it didn’t last more than 24 hours before being eaten… one of those recipes πŸ˜€

You could omit the glaze and serve with sweetened yogurt or cream.

Lemon Zucchini BreadΒ 
Ingredients:
Bread:
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp powdered stevia leaf
3/4 cup grated zucchini
Maybe a dash of water
Glaze:
3 Tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp butter, melted
Lemon juice
To decorate:
Lemon zest

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 10cm by 20cm loaf tin (this is quite a weeny loaf πŸ™‚ ).

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil and lemon juice and zest until combined. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and stevia. Gently fold half of the dry ingredients and half of the zucchini into the wet ingredients, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients and the rest of the zucchini. The aim is not to over mix; the batter will be quite thick, but add a dash of water if you think the dry ingredients aren’t mixing in well enough.

Pour into the tin and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then un-mold and leave to cool slightly.

When the cake is cooled, mix together the glaze ingredients and pour over the top of the cake. Top with some lemon zest if desired. Enjoy while it’s still warm and the glaze is runny or when cooled completely. Lasts well, and is just as delicious the next day if kept in an airtight container.

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