Pumpkin Cake

So this pumpkin I hacked up several days ago is STILL finding it’s way into my bakes. But this is my last one (phew!) as I’m almost pumpkinned out! I smothered the pumpkins layers in a cinnamon spiced cream cheese buttercream and then practised my snail trail and cornelli piping on the top. I had so much fun but my hand feels like it’s going to fall off now! 

  

My pumpkin cake contained:

  • 2-3oz boiled pumpkin drained and blended
  • 8oz self raising flour
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 8oz butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp ginger

My buttercream contained:

  • One pack of full cream cheese
  • 2oz icing sugar
  • 2oz butter
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of vanilla essence
  • Touch of lemon zest

I usually combine my cake ingredients in the same way because it helps me not forget anything. No problem using the all in one method though as long as the pumpkin is added last. My order is always : butter, sugar, eggs, flour , flavours.

I used a No 1 nozzle for the thin cornelli and writing work and a No 43 for the snail trail trim. To get a good finish, a turntable is best and finding a good steady pressure to pipe with to get a consistent line.

  
Farewell pumpkin. It was fun while it lasted.

Pumpkin Pie

I decided to make a pumpkin pie. Now I’ve never had a good slice of pumpkin pie so I thought maybe the home made version might be worth a stab.

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I had no idea how difficult cutting up the pumpkin would be, as you can see from the photo I struggled a bit. After HALF AN HOUR of chopping I finally dismembered the pumpkin and was ready to start boiling its flesh. How do people carve them into amazing shapes without taking their fingers off?

I followed a simple recipe from the BBC good food website. The idea is that you boil the pumpkin (I was surprised there was no roasting involved) and then smash it through a sieve once it’s cooked and soft to make a puree. Now that was quite a task and I got quite a sweat on actually. I just whacked the pumpkin with a wooden rolling pin through the sieve until I realised I should have blended it in my tiny magic bullet. But never mind, I did not DEVIATE from the methodology – which is something I often do (quite worrying really seeing as I’m a scientist by day). I did deviate from the recipe though, it states using milk in the pumpkin filling once you’ve mixed up your spices (nutmeg, cinnamon and a cheeky bit of ginger – also another addition of mine) but why use milk when you could use DOUBLE CREAM? Om nom nom nom. Then there’s lots of sugar and eggs and voila the filling is ready.

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Whilst all of this is going on, the pastry needs to be made and chilling in the fridge. I followed Jamie Oliver’s sweet short crust pastry recipe which is excellent. Look at that butter, doesn’t it look wonderful?

I blind baked my pastry case and then filled it with the glorious spiced, creamy pumpkin mixture and then baked it for about 35 -40 minutes. Looks just about right for Halloween time! The short crust pastry was wonderful to cut into and had no soggy bottom which is always a relief. It tasted amazing and I will make it again, although next time I’ll whip up some Italian meringue to decorate it with on top and sharpen my knife before starting.

IMG_3971http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1742633/pumpkin-pie

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/eggs-recipes/old-fashioned-sweet-shortcrust-pastry/