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Recipes from your veg box: A celebration of seasonal squash

Picture: Better Food Traders

Published: 25 Oct 2021

Our next recipe from Better Food Traders is a fab take on seasonal squash. From summer squash to pumpkin, butternut squash and everything in between, there are dozens of varieties, each easy to grow and very versatile - they can even be great in a cake!

A healthy, resilient and sustainable food system is a bit like a healthy forest. It’s a network of entities (local producers and retailers) interconnected and working to promote the wellbeing of the whole (nation and environment).

At Better Food Traders, we work with 39 such organisations, each selling sustainable fruit and veg and contributing to the health of their customers, the happiness of their farmers and the overall welfare of the planet. 

By eating local, seasonal fruit and vegetables like squash we are reducing our reliance on imports and helping to create a more resilient, self-sufficient food system. What’s more, research has shown that every pound spent on local seasonal produce generates a £3 return for customers, farmers, citizens and the planet.  

This chocolate and squash cake celebrates this lovely produce, we hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did! 

Ingredients for the cake 

½ medium butternut squash, peeled and deseeded (about 500g prepped weight) 

80g cook’s dark chocolate, chopped 

100g soft unsalted butter 

170 g caster sugar 

3 medium eggs, lightly beaten 

270g ground almonds 

1 tbsp baking powder 

3tsp ground nutmeg 

2 tsp ground cinnamon 

Ingredients for the salted squash and chocolate buttercream 

150g cook’s dark chocolate, chopped 

100g soft butter 

250g icing sugar, sifted 

Method 

Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas mark 6.  

Cut the 400g prepared squash into 2-3cm chunks. Cook in a pan of boiling water, around 20 minutes.  

Drain the squash and allow to cool. Blend to a fine purée using a stick blender.  

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Leave to cool slightly. 

Cream the butter and the sugar in a large bowl and then add a third of the beaten egg to the mixture. Mix well and add 250g of the butternut squash mix.  

Put the almonds, baking powder and spices in a bowl with a pinch of salt and mix well.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mix well. 

Add the melted chocolate to the cake mixture, along with the remaining eggs. Mix well. 

Divide between the 2 prepared cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool in the tins for about 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

For the buttercream, melt the chocolate, set aside and leave to cool slightly (about 10 minutes). In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy and light using an electric hand mixer, then add 50g of the butternut mix. Gradually add the icing sugar. Add the melted chocolate and beat until light and fluffy. Add sea salt to taste. 

All the Better Food Traders sell organic, fresh, delicious veg. They put their farmers, communities and the planet first. Fair pay, less pollution, seasonal, healthy food for everyone.  Find your local Better Food Trader here.

Inspired to cook with squash? Check out 5 ways with squash from Urban Kitchen Gardener Tom Moggach.

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