What is in season in September and October? Pumpkins! Pumpkin patches can be found in the farms and we just visited one in mid-October. My kids enjoyed seeing farm animals and watching shows. They also had lots of fun playing on the big slide and bouncing castle, getting lost in the corn maze as well as riding on the wagon. We picked a few pumpkins at the end of the trip and started carving jack o ‘lanterns last week. Leftover pumpkin flesh was turned into pumpkin soup and pumpkin cake and the kids were so excited to devour the food they prepared.
Roasted pumpkin is sweeter than steamed ones (read about my blog post Homemade Pumpkin Puree). Both flavor and water content vary depending on the pumpkin varieties. To thicken up the puree, try not to use it right away after roasting. Instead, pour the puree into a coffee filters or cheesecloth lined strainer. Set it over a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and top with anything heavy. Let sit for a few hours to drain out all the excess liquid. This trick will yield thick pumpkin puree like store bought canned ones.
The following is the recipe for my pumpkin cake that I marbleized with chocolate batter. The batter was quite thick so I didn’t marbleize it well enough. Simply dust the cake with some powdered sugar before serving and it will make a great presentation.
Pumpkin and Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
For 7” bundt cake pan
135 g cake and pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
200 g pumpkin puree
115 g unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 large eggs
100 g dark brown sugar
15 g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp hot water
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells.
Pour homemade pumpkin puree into a coffee filters or cheesecloth lined strainer. Set it over a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and top with anything heavy. Let sit for a few hours to drain out all the excess liquid.
Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC. Grease and flour the bundt pan (skip this step if silicon mold is used).
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add softened butter. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat with low speed until mixture resembles wet sand.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, with low speed until fully incorporated. Add pumpkin puree in two additions and beat until smooth. Raise to medium speed and beat for 1 minute to aerate the batter and develop the cake’s structure. Batter should be thick, smooth and free of lumps. Scrape down the sides as needed.
To make the chocolate batter, transfer 200 g of the batter to a separate bowl. In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder with hot water and stir until smooth. Fold chocolate mixture into the batter with a spatula.
Spoon 1/3 of the pumpkin batter evenly into the prepared pan. Drop the rest of the chocolate and pumpkin batter by spoonful alternatively into the mold. Swirl the batter with a chopstick. Tap pan onto the kitchen counter several times to get rid of large air bubbles. Smooth top with a spatula.
Bake until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust oven temperature and baking time accordingly for your own oven.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Our Jack-o’-lantern for this year.
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