MAKES 12 My friend Toni is a serial vege hider. These wee green cakes are my tribute to her perpetual diligence in concealing good things in whatever magical dish she’s creating. If you wish, sprinkle the creamy, spinachy topping with freeze-dried fruit – I used feijoas as my youngest thought they looked like troll toenail clippings!
2 cups self-raising flour
¾ cup caster sugar
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup cooked then puréed spinach 1 cup cooked sliced apple
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 free-range eggs
SPINACH BUTTER CREAM
100g butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
½ cup baby spinach leaves, blitzed to a purée Juice and zest 1 small lime
Freeze-dried fruit (I used feijoas), to decorate – optional
1 Grease a 12-hole muffin tin and preheat the oven to 180°C fanbake.
2 In large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
3 In a food processor or blender blitz spinach, apple, vanilla, oil and eggs. Tip mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon even amounts into muffin holes and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool cakes in tin for 10 minutes then remove and cool on a rack.
4 Meanwhile make butter cream. Beat butter with electric beaters until pale and fluffy. Slowly add 1 cup of the icing sugar, beating all the time. Add spinach purée, lime zest and juice and continue to beat, gradually adding a little more sugar until it is all used up. If it is a wee bit stiff add 1-2 Tbsp milk to loosen.
5 Top cakes with spinach butter cream, roughly applied with lots of jagged peaks. If desired, sprinkle with crumbled freeze-dried fruit.