We went out to the Pumpkin Farm (thank you to my lovely and gorgeous friend Sally). We brought home several lovely fat pumpkins, take a peek:
A little hard work never hurt anyone.
I made these outfits for the girls to wear for this photo shoot.
It was all just for fun, we love farms and the people who run those farms.
Lots of love to all the farmers out there in the world.
On with the Pumpkin cake.
How to make Pumpkin Cake from scratch-ola.
Here we go.
Open your pumpkin with a sharp knife.
Careful, they can be tough at first.
This pumpkin is specially made for pies and soups, it's called a Ghost pumpkin because it "glows" in the dark.
At first I let her go at it like this, but then I thought to open it up a bit further....easier to bake too.
Scoop out all the stringy parts and the seeds.
(Save those seeds for planting next spring.)
Look at that concentration.
After it's all cleaned up and sliced like cantelope, put these pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for about 90 minutes. The flesh should be tender to a fork's touch.
That sounded like a romance novel. Rolling eyes.
Lil' wee British oven. I had to turn on both top and bottom.
Best spot in the house! It's warm.
Now scoop all that flesh off with a spoon and pile it up in a bowl. Discard the skins into your compost bin.
I tried it this way, to "puree" the pulp.....nope, didn't work. Why do I always buy crap blenders? I ended up just doing it by hand with a pastry cutter. A potato ricer would work too.
Okay---so now that hard part is done. You've used that pumpkin baby! As a reference, about 2 cups of this pulp will equal a 16oz can of pumpkin puree, bought in the grocery store.
When cooking and baking it turns into a hazardous area: a.k.a. a big 'ol mess.
For the recipe I was converting from grams (British) to cups (American). I also threw in some extras for my own taste. Bare with me. The icing I made up, and it's darn good I must say. ;)
Zest an orange and save the rest for squeezing out the juice later.
OR let your kids steal the oranges and eat them. Look at that face! haha
The cake recipe:
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
(If you need to use regular flour just add 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt for every cup of flour)
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used raw sugar-think it's called demerara)
3 tsp mixed spice (This is also called all spice I think?)
If you don't have it just mix cloves,nutmeg,and cinnamon together.
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup raisins or mixed dried fruit like cranberries/craisins/etc
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter-melt it
1 tbsp orange juice
2 cups pumpkin pulp
1. Heat oven to 350 F and butter/grease the pan. I used a rectangular 30x20cm pan--I think this is 13x9 inches. haha I'm becoming Euro.
2. Combine flour,sugar,spice,baking soda,raisins,and salt in a large bowl. Stir.
3. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice of the orange, pouring over the dry bowl of ingredients.
4. Stir in the pumpkin and make sure everything is combined. This takes a large bowl darlings.
5. Batter goes into the pan and bake for 30 min or until golden and springy to touch.
Move on to the frosting now.
Get another orange out for more juice and zest.
The icing recipe:
8 oz container of mascarpone cheese
1/2 stick butter-softened
1 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
zest of 1 orange and juice too
Combine everything into a mechanical mixer and stir it up until fluffy and creamy--about 3 or 4 minutes for my Kitchenaid mixer.
In the mean time, save that extra pulp for later. I looked it up just to be sure, and it should keep nicely in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Store it in a ziploc in known measurable quantities.
(I put 2 cups in each baggie.)
Wait for the cake to completely cool.
Poke holes with a fork all over the cake top and squeeze the juice of one orange over it. Let it seep in a bit before you frost it.
Now frost that baby.
I don't think there ARE ANY calories in food that requires one to labor over so much.
I'm pretty certain of that, in fact.