Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pumpkin, Spice & Everything Nice

Once again, I have broken my self-imposed baking restriction in order to make this amazing cake recipe that I saw on another blog ages ago and have wanted to make ever since. I was invited to a friend's place for dinner so of course I absolutely had to make something sweet to bring. At first I was thinking of making some yummy cookies but then I remembered that my freezer is full of pumpkin puree, so I decided to make a pumpkin cake! The recipe comes from The Baker Chick and while mine did not look quite like hers, it was really yummy. I had a lot of really good comments from all of my friends who thought it was absolutely amazing so it is definitely worth having a go at. The original recipe is for pumpkin swirl bars, but I found that it was far more cakey than bar-like. Not only that, but my cream cheese swirl wasn't very much of a swirl, it was more a golden layer on the top, and pockets of extra gooey soft bit in the cake. Of course, everything has to have chocolate so I added a sprinkle of chocolate chips!

Pumpkin Swirl Cake

6 tablespoons (90 grams) butter
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups (350 grams) sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup (350 grams) flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
200 grams cream cheese
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 egg
100 grams chocolate chips

Now, I mixed this up somewhat differently from the original recipe because my way seemed easier, and because I had frozen pumpkin that needed to be defrosted. You could also use canned pumpkin or fresh (just cube it up, microwave it till it's soft and then mash it up real good). But, before you begin, turn the oven on to 180 degrees celsius and grease a cake tin. I used my 20 by 30 cm pan (it's quite deep too, about 2 or 3 cm, and it was such a good buy, I use it all the time!).

Now, to begin! Place the butter in a microwaveable bowl and heat it until it is melted. Then, in a large bowl, combine the butter, pumpkin puree, sugar and eggs. Mix it well, an electric beater will make it easier but I just used a spoon and it was still a very quick and easy cake to prepare.

Next, add the flour, spices, baking soda and baking powder. Mix this in well, you don't want any lumps, and pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Next, take another bowl and place in it the cream cheese, egg and icing sugar. Beat it until well mixed and then pour this gently over the cake mixture. Now, the original recipe states to spoon it over, but her cream cheese mixture looked quite solid. I found that upon adding the egg it became liquid. However, it was still really good so I am not going to change it and remove the egg. I'm just going to change the method. So, pour the mixture over and then sprinkle your chocolate chips over the top. Take a knife and swirl the mixture gently by making small cuts into the cake, letting the cream-cheese mixture pool into the gap. Don't mix it up too much though, you want the cheese to mostly stay on top. In fact, I think it would still be really good if you didn't mix it at all, and just had two layers.

Now, place the cake in the oven and bake for 50 minutes (mine was still very soft in the centre but it was good that way). Let it cool for awhile before serving it so that it becomes a bit firmer and is easier to cut.

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