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I’ve been reading all of these pumpkin recipes and I’ve been desperate to make something with it.  Unfortunately, over here in Scotland, Hallowe’en isn’t as huge a deal as it is in America, so pumpkins aren’t out yet.  Also, I couldn’t find pumpkin puree anywhere.  So I decided to improvise with butternut squash (I also found onion squash and harlequin squash, which I’d never heard of before, but stores seem to sell them and not pumpkins…).  So, without further ado, butternut squash gingerbread!

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I should have turned them halfway through because I keep forgetting that my oven doesn’t cook anything evenly.  But oh well!  Still tastes good.  And I even had enough mixture left over to make mini ones!

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Obviously, I didn’t cook the smaller ones as long as the bigger ones.  Also, I kinda over-cooked the bigger ones (they could have done with maybe 5-10 minutes less, but they still taste nice).

Ingredients

  • 600g granulated sugar
  • 120ml vegetable oil
  • 200ml applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 150ml water
  • 450g butternut squash puree (or pumpkin puree.  Or, you could do what I did and make the puree yourself – you’ll need two 1kg squashes – recipe below)
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 450g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder

Method
Since I couldn’t find pumpkin or butternut squash puree anywhere, I made my own.  To do this, take two 1kg butternut squashes and chop them in half.  Sprinkle the flesh with salt and put them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, flesh side down.  With the oven set to 200C, roast the squash for 30-45 minutes, or until a knife goes in and out of the squash easily.  Leave to cool for 30 minutes, before scooping out the insides and placing in a food processor.  Blend for roughly 5 minutes until smooth.  Use 450g of this for the gingerbread – the rest you can use for something else. 🙂

To make the gingerbread, heat the oven to 180C and grease or line two 9×5 loaf tins.  In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, applesauce and eggs.  Add the water and mix until it’s well blended.

Add the pumpkin/butternut squash puree and all the spices.  In a separate bowl. sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and baking powder.  In batches, add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin/butternut squash mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between the two pans (leave about 1.5cm from the top of the tins.  If you have any left over, you can put it in mini loaf pans and bake for 30 minutes).  Bake the gingerbread for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack.  Leave to cool completely (if you can wait!).  Enjoy!

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