Today is a big day on The Muffin Myth! Exactly four years ago today I hit publish on my first post with absolutely no idea what would happen next. And what a four years it has been! There have been ups and downs. Celebrations and frustrations. New jobs, and new friends. Broken ankles and broken dishes. I’ve moved to a new country and learned a new language. And I’ve finished *two* degrees in nutrition.
This also happens to be my 300th post. Seems like we should celebrate, no?
I’ve you haven’t tried chocolate zucchini cupcakes before, it’s time to get into it. It’s not just about sneaking vegetables into a dessert; the zucchini adds a ton of moisture. You don’t taste it, in fact, it practically melts away. I used olive oil in these cupcakes because I like the way the grassy flavour pairs with chocolate, and I thought it would be a nice complement to the zucchini. There’s also tangy buttermilk, whole wheat pastry flour, and the whole mess is studded with dark chocolate chunks.
I wanted to top the cupcakes with with something that wouldn’t add a lot of extra sugar to the recipe but that was still delicious and a bit luxurious. Mascarpone with a little bit of honey and sea salt swirled in did the trick, and by did the trick I mean you need salted honey mascarpone in your life right now.
Of course, cupcakes are only as good as the ingredients you use to make them, so when you’re celebrating I think it’s important to use really good stuff. Your vanilla extract for example, should be the best you can find.
Remember back when I made us homemade vanilla extract? That batch was infused for two months, and the people who I gave it to told me it was the best and most vanilla-ey vanilla extract that they ever did see. Well, unbeknownst to you, I started us another batch, and friends, this stuff has been infusing for Six Whole Months.
To celebrate four years of real food and good friends, I’d like to send one of you a bottle of this six-month vanilla extract. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. You can gain additional entries by following The Muffin Myth on Instagram, and liking The Muffin Myth’s Facebook page. Leave separate comments letting me know you’ve done that! I’ll randomly choose a winner next Sunday July 6th.
Here’s to four years of blogging, good food, and good friends. Thanks for being along for the ride, it just wouldn’t be the same without you.
Chocolate And Olive Oil Zucchini Cupcakes Recipe:
As is so often the case with cake, I think that these are better on the second day. You can bake them in advance and keep them stored in an air tight container until the next day. Whether you eat these on the day you make them (still delicious) or the next day (even better!) top with mascarpone at the very last minute.
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup light brown muscovado sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 packed cups grated zucchini
2 cups whole wheat pastry or all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
100g dark chocolate, chopped
250g mascarpone cheese
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat your oven to 350ºF / 180ºC. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, olive oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir in grated zucchini, and set aside.
In a smaller bowl sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add the dry mix to the wet, and stir to just combine. Fold in the chocolate chunks, and spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared cupcake liners.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, rotating the tin once about half way through. A toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake should come out with only a few crumbs attached.
Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While they are cooling, prepare the mascarpone. In a small bowl mix mascarpone, honey, and salt together until well combined. Using a spatula, spread a small amount of the mascarpone onto each cupcake. Serve immediately.
You’re eating cake my friends! Glorious chocolately delicious cake, with an indulgent smear of mascarpone cheese on top. Yum! Enjoy every bite, and then maybe a salad?
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014