Thursday, 19 September 2013

Spiced butternut squash bars

These are so good! The base is crumbly and the butternut squash layer- soft, almost cheesecake like, with warm and aromatic spices.  My family wasn't sure it will work, when I told them what I was making- but they've eaten their words together with my cake!


For the base:
  • 115g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/6 cup sugar dark brown sugar
  • 1/6 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarb. of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 mixed spice
For the filling:
  • 250ml greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup spiced butternut squash puree*
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
For the spiced butternut squash puree:
  • 1 butternut squash (about 900g)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
First you will need to make the spiced butternut squash puree, you can make it ahead.  This recipe makes more then needed for the bars, so you can make it from  1/4 of the ingredients, or save it for other bakes.

To make the puree peel and chop the butternut squash into medium sized chunks, place in a pan with the rest of the ingredients and add about 1/2 cup of water.  Cook over medium heat until soft and mushy.  If the water evaporates while cooking, you can add some more, not too much as the puree should be thick and dryish, the water is needed only to stop it from burning.

When the butternut squash is very soft mix quickly with a wooden spoon or blend until smooth. Place in a bowl or a container and leave to cool completely.

To make the base for the bars mix all of the ingredients quickly, save 3/4 cup for sprinkling on top and press the rest of the mixture into a lined 20cm x 20cm tin.

For the topping mix all of the ingredients until smooth and well combined and pour over the base, sprinkle remaining dough on top.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190C for 25-30 minutes.

Leave to cool completely before cutting.


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