I figured I didn’t need to really limit myself when answering that what to do with the pumpkin question. I can buy more pumpkins tomorrow and make all of the above.
Well, I already made the above. That’s a hunky dory birthday cake for Miss Chelsea at work. It was her rescheduled birthday. Which is like an on-schedule birthday in that you get cake and presents, but better because you don’t actually get any older. I think this is perfectly acceptable.
Also, it is only called hunky dory cake because it was while baking this cake that I realised that all but one of my favourite David Bowie songs come from the same album. Seriously, I missed out on that somehow. Until last night. Plus I love the expression hunky dory. I actually say it and I think I get away with it. I do not, however, get away with saying Homie don’t play that, as much as I would love to. If you prefer logical names to your baked goods (oh how boring are you?) then this would be a pumpkin ginger cake.
Pumpkin Ginger Cake Hunky Dory Cake
225g unsalted butter
300g light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
400g cooked and chilled fresh pumpkin
200g plain flour
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (remember fresh is stronger than dried)
.5 teaspoon ground cloves
about 1/2 of fresh ginger, grated
Notes for using fresh pumpkin…take a whole pumpkin, around 4-5 pounds. Use a big knife to stab a few vents in the top. Place on a baking sheet and stick in the oven for an hour at about 150c. After an hour, it should feel soft to a fork touch. Turn the oven off and let it sit in the oven for another 30-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool entirely. The skin will peel off easily and the guts inside will pretty much detach from the flesh without drying out the pumpkin. You don’t want skin or guts – you want the ‘wall’ of the pumpkin. Put all of this in a mixing bowl (save the seeds if you want) and mash with the potato masher, then blitz with a mixer or hand blender until there are no big chunks left. Store in the fridge for a day or two. If you want to keep it longer than that, put it in plastic and freeze it and you’re good to go.
Heat oven to 160c. Grease two 8-9 inch cake tins well, or use cupcake liners.
Beat the butter with an electric whisk until fluffy.
Add sugars gradually, mixing well.
Add eggs, mixing after each one.
Add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix.
Add the dry ingredients gradually, stirring and mixing as you go. Mix until the batter is an even consistency. The pumpkin will make it look a bit different than a normal yellow cake batter—that’s just fine.
Fill the tins or liners just over half full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Mini cupcakes don’t take so long.
Let cool in the pan and only turn out onto a rack when completely cool. If you’re not using liners, avoid the cooling rack entirely and turn out onto your serving plate. This cake is soft and will fall right through your cooling rack if you’re not careful. It’s best not to ask how I know this, okay?
Serve with flavoured cream:
1 pot of whipping cream
Maple (or other flavour) syrup
Whip the cream until it is soft and fluffy. Add the syrup gradually, whipping until it will hold peaks. Place between the layers of a layer cake or on top of the cake.
You can make your own flavoured syrups by boiling equal volumes of sugar and water along with something to give it flavour—vanilla extract, pieces of ginger, mint leaves, whatever you fancy. Let it boil for five minutes or so, until it reduced and has the consistency of a syrup. A quarter cup of syrup will flavour about two cups of cream, depending on the strength of the syrup.
This entire cake keeps well in the fridge overnight. Just take it out at least thirty minutes before you want to serve it.
And I should have the info for the Christmas class up by this Thursday.
xlovesx01 November 2006