Summer has passed perishingly quickly! Since I ended my moratorium on baking in mid-June I’ve baked a fair amount, but I’m afraid I’ve not been able to blog about it. So here is my first post in quite a while!
I’m also in the process of getting all social media savvy – I’ve got a new Facebook page and a Twitter account. :) My website also hasn’t been redesigned since I created it, so I figured it was time to give it a bit of a new look as well. Apologies if links don’t work etc whilst I iron out all the wrinkles.
I recently moved into a new house. Whilst I was unpacking my baking stuff, I came across about 6 tins of pumpkin. Last summer it was on sale at Aldi and I went a bit pumpkin happy and purchased about 8 cans of the stuff. I’d only made pumpkin desserts twice last year, so as soon as I saw it I knew it was time to crack open another can. I settled on pumpkin cake (because it’s delicious) and on a fudge icing (because it’s also delicious).
My flatmates were my excellent and willing taste-testers for this cake. We all agreed that it was very moist and sweet with a strong pumpkin flavour, but that the walnuts gave the texture some variety and provided a bit of relief from the sweetness. Unfortunately, the icing tasted a little bit burnt – the pot I used had a very thin bottom and I’m not used cooking on a gas stove. Beware! Still, it was very delicious and a wonderfully warmly spiced pumpkin cake. The sea salt in the icing was also a nice touch, although completely optional. I loved the walnut moose on top and perhaps I’ll bust out this recipe in a little while for Canadian Thanksgiving! :)
Pumpkin Cake with Sea Salted Fudgey Icing
- 2 cups/250g all purpose/plain flour
- 1-1.5 tbsp mixed spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg etc)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 x 454g tin pumpkin puree
- 2 cups/400g white sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup/250 ml vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Butter, flour and line 2×8″ round cake tins and set aside. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together on medium speed the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract four about 1-2 minutes. The mixture should look paler and the volume should be increased.
- On low speed, mix in the canned pumpkin until mixed throughout.
- Gently fold in the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Mix by hand until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice each layer in half and icing with the sea salted fudge icing (recipe below).
Sea Salted Fudge Icing
- 3 cups/600g white sugar
- 1 1/2 cup/ 375ml semiskimmed milk
- 1 1/2 cup/ 375g unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup/125g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup / 200g icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine the white sugar, milk, 1.5 cup of unsalted butter and baking soda in a large pot (I had to use the largest I owned – it WILL increase in volume around 3 fold!) and stir with a wooden spoon over medium high heat.
- When the mixture begins to boil, stop stirring completely. Insert a candy thermometer and boil until it reaches the soft ball stage (235F/118C). It should turn a lovely dark golden colour as it cooks. Once it has reached the correct temperature, carefully pour into a large mixing bowl.
- With an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat on medium high until it is cool enough to touch, it loses some of its gloss, and it is beginning to hold it’s shape. If you drag a spoon through it, you should be able to see that this has happened.
- Beat in the butter, salt and vanilla. Gradually add the icing sugar and mix until it is all incorporated. Use immediately. You need to be a bit speedy during this step as the icing sets a bit as it cools. It is much easier to spread when it is warm.