Wednesday, October 20, 2010
MY PRECIOUS PUMPKIN!!!
I really enjoy Katie's blog Apple and Spice and have loved following her adventures with the Cake Slice baking group. I decided to sign up when she mentioned that the group would be starting a new book in October and were open for new membership. The book is Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman, and I'm really looking forward to baking my way through it.
That said my heart sank a little when I read that the first months cake was Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. Why you might (reasonably) ask? I have plenty of history with vegetable based cakes - I could be described as (an almost .... well perhaps an actual) chocolate fiend, where could the problem be?? Well, the problem was with the pumpkin, you see it is incredibly difficult to get canned pumpkin here, and I had managed to source a can earlier in the year (in Harvey Nicks if you don't mind!!!) and was guarding it fiercely for Halloween, I have read so many wonderful pumpkin pie recipes on American blogs that I had been looking forward to choosing my favourite and giving it a go.
A good friend and fellow book-club member had sneaked a significant birthday past us (very bold!!) but her sister let the cat out of the bag, so T and I decided that we should convert a scheduled coffee morning into a Birthday celebration - and what better occasion to use my precious pumpkin!!
The cake went down so well that I nearly didn't manage to get a photo of it sliced!! It tasted beautifully moist, with a very pleasant light spicy back note that combined well with the chocolate, nuts and of course the pumpkin.
The precious (!) canned pumpkin - fresh cooked pumpkin just doesn't have the correct texture (too wet!).
Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bread (bicarbonate of ) soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon ( I ground my own because I had run out of the ground stuff!!!!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves (thankfully I had these!!)
pinch nutmeg (I grated this!)
4 oz/110g soft butter
1 1/4 cups sugar (I used soft brown muscavado)
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup dark chocolate chips (I chopped up a bar of Lindt 85%)
1 cup walnuts (reserve some for the top then chop the rest)
Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F
Line a 19 cm round tin with parchment paper
(the original recipe is for a loaf tin but I think round is more celebratory)
Sift the flour, baking powder, bread soda, spices and salt together into a large bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time at a medium speed, be sure to scrape down the sides while mixing.
Stir in the pumpkin puree, vanilla and milk.
Stir the flour in gradually and gently.
Add the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts - combine well.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake for approx 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in its tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Then place on the wire rack and cool completely.