So go on then. How many times have you carved a pumpkin and don’t even bother to scoop out the insides? We’ve all done it but this year – like last, I scooped out enough to feed a small army and that was with just one daughterling. The other one didn’t even get her’s carved! Teenagers! So we have a whopper of a pumpkin to use and it’s the second week in November. So, I did what every good cake blogger does. I baked!
Every year I give my mum the pumpkin flesh as she makes killer chutney with it but this year I made a cake and still had plenty left over to share. This pumpkin cake is really moist and quite heavy. It’s a slow bake cake and is the kind you could use to stack for a tiered cake. Perfect for an October wedding cake maybe? Think of it as a carrot cake made with pumpkin. It’s topped with a cream cheese frosting – the recipe for which I got from Jane Curran, the food editor on Woman&Home. It’s the only cream cheese frosting recipe I use. It can’t be beaten. It also lasts a long time. Once decorated we were still eating this cake a week later and it was fine.
350g plain flour
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
150g dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
juice and zest of 1 ½ oranges
350g shredded pumpkin
Juice from ½ orange
60g caster sugar
Cream Cheese frosting
full fat cream cheese
Place the rum and water and sultanas in a sealable container and leave for at least an hour - overnight is best.
Line and grease an 8" cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 160ºC(140ºC fan)
Melt the butter over a low heat and add to the sugars. Mix well. Add the lightly beaten eggs.
In a separate bowl sieve and combine all the dry ingredients. Fold into the wet ingredients.
Add half the orange juice and all of the zest, vanilla extract, pumpkin and soaked sultanas with their flavouring to the mixture and combine.
Spoon into the cake tin
Bake for 2 hours or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean.
To make the sugar syrup
Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat till it is all dissolved.
Add the orange juice then simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Set aside to cool then brush over the whole cake as soon as it leaves the oven. Leave the cake to cool completely.
To make the frosting
Place the cream cheese and icing sugar together and mix well.
Use a pallette knife to spread the frosting over the completely cooled cake. You can do just the top or all around the sides too.
So whether you bake this now or save the recipe for next halloween (you can print it off – just see the link above the recipe ingredients) it’s a keeper that’s for sure!
What do you do with your pumpkins? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below and feel free to share your recipe with the CakesBakesAndCookies crowd!
p.s. Happy Birthday Bot. xxxx
Matzah Kugel Pudding recipe for Pesach
If you’re Jewish I think I know what you’re thinking. “Oh yeah thanks Emma. Today is the last day of Pesach. Great timing for a Matzah Kugel Pudding!” and I get it. This recipe would have been a whole lot more helpful if it had gone out last week when Pesach – the Jewish passover started. But I hadn’t perfected it then and I don’t want to share anything with you that isn’t just right. Also I had so many downloads this year on the first two days of Pesach for the cinnamon balls biscuits and almond macaroons that I know you’ll love this recipe next year anyway!
This is a basic matzabrai recipe – matzahbrai is an eggy breakfast we eat during Pesach. I love it and eat it all year round for lunch. The key to this recipe is to keep the egg soft and moist. The Matzah Kugel Pudding can become dry and therefore really stodgy really quickly so if there’s a bit of movement when it’s time to take the Kugel out of the oven that’s just fine.
I added a whole load of almond flakes to this recipe as I’m a bit addicted to them at the moment and lets face it this is the perfect time of year to fill up on almonds – basically all the cakes made at Peseach use almonds in one form or another. Almonds make it really tasty. I also add a drizzle of honey on the whole pudding when it comes out of the oven. If you eat it then it tastes divine but if you come back to it the next day and nuke it in the microwave the honey just seeps in. Deelish!
You can ? this recipe off here
You can of course make this pudding anytime of year but during Pesach when food gets a little bit limited it’s a real treat. Definitely one to make every year along with the cinnamon balls and almond macaroons. I feel a new family tradition coming along!
Last week the tennis mums came over for a Friday night take away. I think it’s the first time we’ve ever done that and it was really lovely. We got to have a proper catch up and I got to try out a different local Indian restaurant that every one has been raving about (It was the Raj Moni in Bromley in case you were interested and I can see why they were raving. It was deelish!)
I decided to whip up an apple pie for desert in my brand new Pyrex dish. I have a thing for Pyrex. I’m addicted to their glass jugs – even if they do seem to have this habit of slipping out of my fingers and onto my very hard, tiled kitchen floor and smashing into a million pieces! I really am super clumsy! I’ve broken at least three jugs this year alone! Maybe I should put it down to statistics. I do a lot of baking therefore I am going to break a lot of things!
The new Pyrex range
Do you know that more than 75% of British kitchens own at least one piece of Pyrex? I’m not all that surprised really. Do you also know that they have this huge range that goes way beyond just the regular glass jugs? They do these fantastic glass dishes (oven to tableware) with plastic air tight lids for storage, baking tins, silicon moulds, slow cook wear, saucepans and my latest favorite – The Impressions ceramic range. I couldn’t resist getting the Pie Dish and Ramekins sent in to ‘test out!”- Thanks Pyrex!
The main reason I wanted to get my hands on the Pyrex pie dish so badly is because I didn’t have a plain white all purpose pie dish after my slip up before Christmas with my Jamie Oliver Big Dog Bowl. Another casualty of my slippery fingers! This new Pyrex design is perfect as it is big enough, deep enough and has handy handles on each side. Not too big and not too small. Prefect for just about any pie or crumble! You could easily make a lasagna in it too, but why would you when it’s so perfect for pie?
Marzipan Apple Pie Recipe
- 225g Butter at room temperature
- 460g Self Raising flour
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- ½ table spoon vanilla or almond extract
- 100g marzipan
- 1kg apples (I used eating apples but you can use cooking apples and just add a little more sugar)
- 100g sultanas
- 2tbsp Kirsh (optional)
- Place the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, water and extract into a mixing bowl and combine until just mixed and it forms a ball of dough. Place the dough in some cling film and pop it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- I always place the sultanas in a jug, add the kirsh then cover with boiling water and leave for 30 minutes. I really like the way soaked raisins and sultanas taste. They’re also fatter and squishier. You can always add them as is. The kirsh just adds to the yumminess.
- Peel, core and chop up the apples into small cubes then par boil them till they are just starting to soften. Drain and set aside.
- Heat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC Fan)
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5mm and fill your pie dish. Scrumple up a piece of baking paper and place it in over the dough gently. Add baking beans and bake the case blind for 10 minutes. Then remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes. The case will rise up slightly so don’t leave it in any longer than this.
- While baking the case, roll out the marzipan till it’s a circle that will fill the bottom of your pie case.
- When your pie case is part baked place the marzipan circle in the bottom then add the apples and sultanas. You can add a little cinnamon and sugar to the apples if you like it.
- Cut strips of dough and weave them over the filling till it’s nearly all covered up. Press the edges lightly at the ends to hold the dough in place.
- Sprinkle the top with a little sugar (and cinnamon if you’re using it.)
- Bake the pie in the oven for 30 minutes or until the dough has turned a golden brown.
- I usually part bake this pie for 20 minutes so it is practically done then remove it and let it sit until just before I want to serve it. I then pop it back into the oven for another 20 minutes. Apple pie should always be served warm or hot in my opinion and finished off with a big dollop or cream or ice cream.