Friday, 21 October 2011

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Pumpkin Cake

Since my last post, I've had a disastrous attempt at a honey and spice cake, which ended up with the cake in the dustbin and me buying (!!) cake from the supermarket. It was a Lemon and Ginger cake - I stuck to the October 'spice' theme - and a very nice cake, but expensive for it's size. Not a very good start to National Baking Week! Anyway, while I was idly scanning the cookery ingredients shelf in the supermarket, I spotted the seasonal appearance of tins of pumpkin purée. No-one here likes pumpkin pie, but I have made pumpkin swirl brownies in the past, which were very successful. So into the basket went a tin of pumpkin - and home I went, to look for a recipe combining pumpkin and spices, and using oil instead of butter.

I also decided it was time to open the second tin of maple syrup I brought back from Canada last year, but then couldn't find a recipe that I like the look of. The nicest looking recipe used maple flavouring, which I've never seen on sale - maple syrup just wouldn't give enough flavour in such small quantities. Time to ditch the maple syrup idea, and proceed on the well known baking fact that there's nothing that can't be improved by adding chocolate! So I kept the basic recipe for Pumpkin-Maple Coffee Cake, but left out the maple flavour; I added the zest of an orange to the cake batter and 75g very finely chopped 85% chocolate to the central layer of sugar and cinnamon. I also used natural yogurt instead of buttermilk, because I didn't want to wait until I could shop again, and yogurt is always in the fridge

The result was an excellent cake, although the pumpkin was well-disguised by the other flavours. Hubs was really impressed by the way the cinnamon, chocolate and orange blended harmoniously together in a very light cake. My one criticism is one that I often have with American 'traybake' recipes - the tin size stipulated was too big for the amount of batter. After spreading the thinnest layer of batter possible on the base of the tin, there wasn't enough left to completely cover the layer of chocolate. This meant that although the layers looked neat on the central pieces of cake (top photo), on the edges the layers petered out rather untidily(lower photo)! Note to self - next time bake in a 8" square tin, cook for a few minutes longer and get a deeper cake!

Now I have to look for a recipe using no more than 275g pumpkin purée, to use up what was left from the tin I opened.

12 comments:

Brownieville Girl said...

I find it very difficult to source tinned pumpkin here so I doubt I'll get a chance to try this recipe - I'll keep trying though, it looks delicious.

Baking Addict said...

I like the sounds of the flavours here although I've never baked with pumpkin. I agree with you about the American traybake recipes. I remember pouring batter from one pan to another once as there just wasn't enough!

Foodycat said...

It sounds really good!

Maybe some pumpkin gnocchi with the rest?

Chele said...

I'm not sure I've ever been tempted to try a pumpkin bake before but this post is changing my mind. Looks lovely and moist and that topping is making my mouth water!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

the top of the cake looks so moreish... I want more already and I haven't even tried it yet... when does the delivery arrive?

kerrycooks said...

Looks delish.... apparently they sell tinned pumpkin in waitrose, if there's one around you

C said...

It looks deliciously moist and I love the way the chocolate layer has stayed put in the middle of the cake. I love all the sugar crusted on the top too - must have been lovely to crunch through that with each mouthful.

Annoying when there isn't enough batter to spread as directed by the recipe though, but at least you'll know for next time.

tea with hazel said...

i love your interpretation of the original recipe..i've never seen tinned pumpkin in australia but based on what i've read the best alternative to use is pureed butternut pumpkin..the other varieties apparently don't have enough flavour..it's a pity i have 5 kgs of the unsuitable type of pumpkin in the fridge..:)

Suelle said...

Hazel - with that much pumpkin to use, I'd be baking with it even if it was the wrong sort!

snowy said...

Have never cooked with a tin of pumpkin puree so I'll have a look out for some. The cake looks really good, very moreish.

celia said...

Suelle, I think it looks and sounds fabulous! I actually adore tray baked cakes - I like the rustic look and feel of them! :)

MissCakeBaker said...

I love all the pumpkin recipes that are about at the moment. This looks very moreish!