Spring Equinox Flowers and Plants

 Nettle Lemon Cupcakes

For the Nettle and Lemon cupcakes:
  • 100g (2 cups, packed) raw young nettle leaves (use the top 4-6 leaves)
  • 200g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g (3/4 cup) whole cane sugar
  • 3 EGGS
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 250g (2 cups) plain flour (or try a combo of sprouted spelt/plain flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the cream cheese icing:
  • 150g (2/3 cup) cream cheese, softened
  • 300g (2 ½ cups) powdered icing sugar
  • Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 170C/325F.  Line muffin tins with paper cups or grease well.
  2. Using rubber gloves or tongs, carefully rinse the stinging nettle leaves and remove any large stems. Place in a vegetable steamer and steam  for 3-4 minutes. The sting will be removed with the boiling.  Remove and puree. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the nettles, vanilla, zest and lemon juice.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to gently combine.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, push to the edges and level, then bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the tins and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
For the icing:
  1. In a large bowl, cream the cheese until fluffy. Add in the icing sugar and beat. Beat in the zest and a little of the lemon juice. Add more lemon juice to make it a frosting consistency and beat again. Store in the fridge until ready to use.