Tomorrow happens to be my dear father's birthday, but we are going to celebrate it a day early since he'll be leaving to go on a business trip in China tomorrow.
Instead of a traditional birthday cake, I decided to go seasonal and bust out the first-ever pumpkin post for this blog. The incentive for this bold move? There's a huge pumkin left over from Halloween which we forgot to carve, and I'll be darned if I let it go entirely to waste!
So I butchered it and grated the pieces, freezing it for later. I also used about a cup of this fresh pureed failure of a jack-o-lantern for this cake.
I found the recipe at finecooking.com, and the super long and complicated instructions irritated me, because I really am bad at following directions. So I simplified the process and got the same result. If you own a stand mixer and a billion mixing bowls and would like to follow the instructions step by tedious step, by all means go ahead and click on the link above.
The cake itself is absolutely amazing, and the notes of ginger are actually detectable as well as the pumpkin. This recipe's definitely a keeper!
Anyways, here's the whole process of the cake: from the butchering of the pumpkin to the finishing touches (Just warning you ahead of time; it's going to be a long post!)
Here's my intended jack-o-lantern
Cleaned and grated:
Pumpkin Ginger Pound Cake
*1/2 lb. (1 cup) unsalted butter, completely softened at room temperature; more for the pan
*9 1/2 oz, (2 1/2 cups) cake flour; more for the pan
*1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon table salt
*1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
*1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
*4 large eggs, at room temperature
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*2 cups packed light brown sugar (I used only 1 1/2 cups since I topped it with caramel)
*1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
*1/4 cup vegetable oil
*2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
*1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar for dusting
*1 quart vanilla ice cream (optional)
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or 12-cup bundt pan, preferably nonstick. Tap out any excess flour.
2.) Sift together dry ingredients and set aside
3.) Put pumpkin and ginger together in a seperate bowl
4.) Mix together vanilla, butter, and eggs
5.) Mix everything together then stir in the vegetable oil
6.) Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean with a few moist crumbs clinging to it
7.) Let cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully run a paring knife around the side.
8.) Invert the cake onto cooling rack and gently remove the pan. (If you're making it ahead, now is the time to wrap it.) Allow cake to cool completely before dusting with sugar.
While the cake was baking, I made an easy caramel sauce to top it with (you can just dust it with sugar if you'd like) and chopped about 1/3 of a cup of almonds and roughly diced 3 slices of apple to arrange on top.
Here's the caramel sauce recipe from food.com, which also makes a great ice cream topping.
I found it to be a bit runny since I used half-and-half instead of heavy whipping cream, but it worked as a glaze. Also, this recipe makes quite a lot so if you're not planning to use a lot of it, cut the quantities in half.
*1/2 cup butter
*1 cup brown sugar
*2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
*1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1.) In a small saucepan melt butter.
2.) Add the brown sugar; whisk until combined and thickened (about 2 minutes)
3.) Whisk in the whipping cream, until thoroughly blended (2 more minutes).
4.) Mix in vanilla (if using) until combined.
NOTE; this sauce will thicken up more when refrigerated.