Autumn is here, with it a new season of wonderful eating is to be had. And is there anything more synonymous with October than the glorious Pumpkin?
In the UK we generate 18,000 tons of pumpkin waste each year, which is a crying shame and a complete miss-use of this glorious vibrant hued squash. I am often asked, “But what can I do with a pumpkin?” the answer is anything.
Pumpkin is simply a squash and can be treated the same. Roasted, mashed, soups, sauté and add to a stir fry, the possibilities are endless. However, my favourite way to eat pumpkin is in cake! Yup! You read correctly. This magnificent amber vegetable can be made into brownies, loaves and cakes.
Here I will share with you my favourite pumpkin cake recipe, moist, deep in flavour and married perfectly with warming winter spices, before being enrobed in a decadent caramel sauce.
This recipe was created using a 10-cup bunt tin, but by halving the ingredients it will fill a 7-inch bunt tin or 2 lb loaf tin perfectly.
As usual notes are included at the bottom of this recipe for a fully plantbased version.
I make my puree by simply hollowing out and quartering a pumpkin, before roasting on 160c for around 1 hour or until flesh is tender. Allow to cool slightly, before peeling of the skin and blending until smooth. I find a medium pumpkin will produce a yield of 3-4 cups of puree. Any extra will freeze perfectly.
Ingredients For the cake:
• 2 cups of soft light brown sugar
• 1 cup of vegetable oil
• 2 cups of pumpkin puree
• 4 eggs
• 1 tsp of salt
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 ½ baking powder
• 2 tsp of cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp all spice
• 1 tsp vanilla paste
For the sauce:
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 90g salted butter
• ½ cup of double cream
1. Preheat your oven to 180c, adjust accordingly for fan oven. Grease and flour your tin. If you are using a bunt tin, I can not stress enough the importance of taking care in this, if you do not wish to be sorely disappointed when it comes to turning out your bunt.
2. In a bowl thoroughly cream your sugar and oil, then add your eggs one at a time ensuring each is combined well.
3. Add your pumpkin puree and ensure it is well incorporated.
4. In a separate bowl, sieve your remaining dry ingredients together before carefully adding and folding into your wet ingredients.
5. Pour your batter into your prepared tin and give a few gentle taps on the bottom to help rid the mix of any bubbles.
6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50-55 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. You may wish to cover with tin foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. If you are using a bunt tin, I would also recommend placing the tin on a baking tray to stop the uneven bottom dipping through the rack.
7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a rack and allowing to cool completely.
8. For the sauce heat the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the liquid is a light amber colour.
9. Stir the butter into the sugar mix until well incorporated. If you notice it separating, whisk vigorously until re-combined.
10. Slowly add the cream while continuously stirring, allow to boil for 1 minute before removing from the heat and allowing to cool before pouring. I have also had unbelievable results making delicious caramel sauce by baking or boiling condensed milk – multiple recipes are available online
NOTES FOR PLANT-BASED SUBSITIUTES. To make this recipe plant-based is wonderfully simple and yields great results. Drop the eggs and increase the baking powder from 1 tsp to 3 tsp. When mixing your wet ingredients in stage 1 and 2, add 3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar to the mix. For the caramel simply swap the butter and cream for the plant- based alternatives.
Happy baking my beautiful tribe, and don’t forget to tag @the.hungry.tribe with your creations, I love to see what you are all cooking up in your kitchens