How do pumpkin chocolate cups sound, guys? I would kill for one at the moment! We’ve been packing the house up since last Saturday (and living on very basic food as the kitchen slowly gets packed up), but we can almost see the finish line at last!
We can’t wait to be able to see all this stuff drive off into the distance (in a removal van) to liberate us from all these possessions we don’t seem to be able to do without. Even if that’s only for about a month.
While we’ve been stressing, keeping our heads down and missing some quite spectacular mid-October weather (23° C / 74° F), Tina has been having a ball. She was so chuffed to come back home to an army of opened boxes. She sniffed at and sat in pretty much every single one of them and seemed to be having a great time hiding, napping in them and exploring. We’ve been grateful for her antics as some of us (read:me) get stressed by moving, so an excuse to laugh out loud has been welcome.
The next focus is to be able to find a new house that will match our current abode in terms of outside roaming space. It’s a tall order as Tina has been spoilt for garden space here, but hopefully something nice will present itself. It’s funny how the comfort of the one that has not lifted a finger around the house like, ever is our primary stress and focus. Cats, eh? You gotta love them. They have a knack of wriggling into your life without you noticing until it’s too late.
I still remember tiny stray Tina (then called Bubble) and her brother Squeak pressed up against our office’s window in winter and me making eyes at Duncan so that we let them both in. Next thing I know I was filling up a hot water bottle so that I could warm up a blanket for them and now Tina’s the one who (tries to) call the shots 😉 .
These spiced pumpkin cups are easy to make and delicious. The filling (encased in a crispy chocolate shell) smells and tastes like gingerbread 😉 . They keep really well in the freezer although I bet that you won’t be able to keep away from them for too long. And they make an afternoon coffee break something to really look forward to.
- 100 g / ½ cup dates, pitted
- approx. 200 g / 1 cup cubed pumpkin or butternut squash
- 120 ml / ½ cup roasted almond butter
- ¼ tsp salt + coarse salt to decorate
- 1/3 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
CHOCOLATE SHELL (option 1)
- 200 g / 7 oz dark vegan chocolate* (70% cocoa solids)
CHOCOLATE SHELL (option 2)
- Soak pitted dates in boiling water for 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water after soaking.
- Steam the cubed pumpkin until it is so soft that you can pierce it with a knife easily (about 15 minutes). You could also bake it in a 200° C / 390° F oven for about 20 minutes, until soft but not overly browned.
- Place cooled-off pumpkin, drained dates and almond butter in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg to taste and process some more to distribute the spices evenly.
- Break the chocolate up into smaller pieces by hitting an unopened packet against your work bench. Place in a glass bowl over a water bath. Allow it to melt gently, on the lowest setting (that’s important as chocolate is sensitive to overheating). If making your own chocolate, simply whisk cacao powder into melted coconut oil and sweeten with maple syrup to taste.
- Spoon about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into each paper cup and spread it inside the cup using the back of the teaspoon. Once you coat the insides of your cups, put them into the freezer for 15 minutes or so.
- Once the cups have had a chance to set, fill them with about a teaspoon of the pumpkin filling and create chocolate tops by pouring about a teaspoon of melted chocolate over the top, swivelling the cup delicately as you go for the chocolate to distribute evenly.
- Place in the freezer for at least an hour to allow the tops to harden. Sprinkle with extra salt for decoration. Keep in an air-tight container in the freezer.