As soon as the small one was back at school I took the opportunity to close the door on the summer and embrace the lead in to Halloween. I found myself searching through cookbooks in early September, for a simple and delicious yet speedy pumpkin recipe to bake and share.
And most of the recipes are simple. I realised that it’s the preparation of the pumpkin that I find so time-consuming and it’s not the laziness within me… it’s more to do with my constant impatience paired with an eagerness to see how my newest creation will turn out and of course taste.
You see, it’s the chopping… and the scooping… and the grating… that gets to me and that’s all before I even get started on the recipe. I did think about asking the hubby and the small one to scoop out and carve the pumpkin – that’s their seasonal task together anyway, but probably just a wee bit too early yet.
Then I came across a recipe that allows you to chop the pumpkin into wedges, pop it on a baking tray and roast. This intrigued me so much that I just had to try. Plus I baked and purreed it the night before so when I did begin my sweet pumpkin cake it came together like a breeze. Oh… and just so you know… the reasoning behind the three sugars – purely accidental – a case of thinking I had enough light brown sugar and halfway through realising this was not to be. Trust me though it is so worth using the three varieties when you taste the finished creation.
Sweet pumpkin cake
Serves 12 • Baking time Approx 50 minutes • Adapted from The Baking Book
650g organic pumpkin (200g cooked weight)
250ml sunflower oil
120g light brown sugar
75g castor sugar
80g dark muscovado sugar
3 medium eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon mixed spice
75g Icing sugar
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
Orange food colouring
1. Cut the pumpkin into small wedges, removing the seeds with a metal spoon and place on a baking try to roast for roughly 30 minutes at 200/Gas 6/180 (fan). Set aside to cool, then scoop out the flesh and puree using a hand blender.
2 Turn the oven down to 180/Gas 4/160(fan). Grease a 23cm round fluted cake pan and dust with a little flour.
3. Put the oil and sugars into a mixer and whisk for five minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, whisking for about one minute after each egg.
4. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices together and fold into the mixture. Gently stir in the pumpkin purée.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for approx 45-50 minutes until well risen and slightly coming away from the sides.
6. Leave to cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire tray.
7. To make the orange glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the orange juice, a little at a time, until you get a thickish consistency. Mix in the food colouring. Then using the back of a metal spoon drizzle the glaze back and forth over the cake.