Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pumpkin Cake

Oh what to do with more of my roasted pumpkin. I don't like repeats too soon so pumpkin pie was out. Then I found this great pumpkin cake recipe on epicurious.com. Maybe Mr. Meat & Potatoes will eat this rendition of pumpkin dessert. It came out sloppy but tasted great. First the pumpkin. I've resulted in pre-roasting my pumpkins and freezing them for later use. It helps keep the work and time down. I gather my dry ingredients. I also like more spice than usual. So I add more of each listed in the recipe. The pumpkin gets blended up into a pulp. One pumpkin will give you about 2 cups of puree. That's enough for any recipe, pie or cake. I mix the sugar and oil. Then add the pumpkin until incorporated. Then I add the dry ingredients until well blended. The recipe calls for 2 9-inch cake pans but I only had a large springform pan. It'll work but you have to adjust your time. The cake comes out golden brown and smelling of the fall. Yum!! Always use a wooden stick to see if the cake is done. I've had too many mishaps with the outside being done and the middle still being raw. That does not make a good cake. I let the cake cool completely while I made the icing. Ah, icing. So incredibly simple yet people still buy that sickly sweet canned stuff. I just don't get it. It's just powdered sugar and cream. Duh! This version is a caramel cream cheese icing. First, I boil the sugar until golden brown. You'll smell it instantly. Use a whisk to remove any lumps. Salt, cream, and vanilla extract are mixed together to add later. Add the cream mixture slowly into the caramel. Be careful! It will bubble up furiously. And whatever you do, do NOT taste this sugar. Sugar is exponentially hotter than water when boiling. It will burn you severely. Be very careful. Mix the caramel until smooth and turn off the heat. Cool completely. Some butter and cream cheese for the base of the icing. I whipped those together until smooth. Lastly, I added the caramel until well incorporated. If you add the caramel when still warm, it will melt everything and your icing will break. Be patient and wait for things to cool. Once cooled, I iced the cake. This is where I had problems. I thought I could slice the cake in half and do a middle filling. But the cake was so moist that it fell apart. It became a gloppy mess trying to salvage this. The good news is that the cake tasted really good! The icing was nice and sweet while the cake was spicy. I thought it could use more spice so that will be change in the future. But I will definitely make this cake again in the future. Next time, hopefully it'll be more pleasing to the eye. *Please note that I did leave the orange out of the recipe.* Epicurious.com Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting by Sarah Patterson Scott Yield: Makes 12 servings Ingredients Cake: 3 cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 4 large eggs 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel Frosting: 1 1-pound box powdered sugar, divided 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature Candied orange peel* preparation For cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides, tapping out any excess flour. Whisk first 9 ingredients in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat pumpkin, sugar, and oil in another large bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to incorporate between additions. Mix in orange peel. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 33 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert onto rack, then turn top side up and cool completely. For frosting: Sprinkle 1/2 cup powdered sugar over bottom of small nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until sugar melts (do not stir). Continue cooking until sugar turns deep amber, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Carefully stir in 1/2 cup cream, vanilla, and salt (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until any caramel bits dissolve. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon cream. Strain into small bowl. Cool caramel to room temperature. Sift remaining powdered sugar into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in cooled caramel. Cover and chill frosting until firm enough to spread, about 2 hours. Using long serrated knife, trim rounded tops from cakes. Place 1 cake layer on cake plate, cut side up. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over. Place second cake layer, cut side down, atop frosting. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting, creating smooth surface. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome or large bowl and chill. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle candied orange peel over top of cake. Cut into wedges and serve. * Available seasonally at most supermarkets and year-round at specialty foods stores and from chefshop.com.

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