This was another 'make room in the freezer' baking session. I had more grated pumpkin in the freezer, along with some 'shop damaged' bananas (6p for a bag). I defrosted them and made two cake mixes. My idea was to pour them in opposite ends of a baking tray, giving the middle a swirl so the ends were one type of cake and the middle had both combined.
The original recipe was based on the pumpkin cupcakes. I beat together 175ml of vegetable oil, 3 eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla extract, then divided the mixture in two.
In one half I added the pumpkin cake ingredients (but using cranberries instead of sultanas):
- 85g golden caster sugar
- 100g of grated pumpkin
- 50g cranberries
- 1 tsp cinnamon with ½ tsp of mixed spice
In the other half I added
- 85g of drinking chocolate powder, with an extra tablespoon of sugar
- 100g mashed banana
- 50g sultanas
Both halves also had
- 100g self raising flour
- ½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda
I poured the two batters into a 10x6 inch tray. I expected the cakes to take about half an hour at gas mark 4 but it was well over ¾ hour before the middle stopped being liquid.
When the cake had cooled, I made a lemon juice icing, slightly runny so I could drizzle it over the top.
I took some of the cake to work to share (since that was where the hot chocolate powder came from, it was only fair to do that). People seemed to like it - I got favourable comments from people, someone even noticed that I had used an oil based recipe. Both cakes were definitely worth doing again.
When we scooped out the pumpkins to make Halloween lanterns, I grated and froze the flesh so I could try cooking something with it. The pumpkins which are sold for lanterns are usually a lower quality and aren't recommended for eating so I thought I would start with something where the pumpkin isn't the main flavour, so I could probably get away with a lower quality ingredient.
I found a recipe for cupcakes. It was pretty much a carrot cake but using pumpkin instead of grated carrot. The recipe called for grated orange zest but I didn't have an orange so I left that out.
I tried one of the cakes last night, when they were still a bit warm. It tasted ok but that was before I had made the icing. Tonight's cake, with a generous layer of cream cheese frosting, was definitely an improvement.
On tuesday, someone in work gave me a spare pumpkin which was leftover from Halloween so this week I'll be trying various different pumpkin recipes.
Tuesday: Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Mash
Take equal weights of pumpkin and sweet potato. Dice and cook until soft (roast, boil or microwave). Mash and add seasoning (I added a few splashes of chilli sauce). We served it with Chicken and Chickpea Burgers, made using a similar recipe to the Turkey and Chickpea Burgers but without the herbs or cheese.
Thursday: Pumpkin and apple chutney
I followed the recipe from the BBC website, the only changes I made were to scale the quantities down slightly and to use a mixture of red and green tomatoes. The pumpkin I had was quite large and tough so it needed longer than the 45 minutes simmering time. I didn't get chance to bottle it tonight so I left the pan (lid on) overnight.
Friday: I brought the chutney back to the boil and bottled it. I was about to dice and freeze the remaining pumpkin but it had gone soft and mushy, which was a shame. I had used less than half of it.
This is the perfect time of the year to be cooking with pumpkins - most of the unsold ones left over from Halloween should be available cheap in the shops.
- Pumpkin Mash
Very simple to make - 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced. A quarter of a small pumpkin, peel, remove the seeds and dice the flesh. Boil the potato and pumpkin in salted water until soft, then mash together.
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin, wash and dry them. Toss them in oil with salt, paprika and a little chilli. Spread onto a tray and bake in the oven (gas mark 6 for around half an hour). Leave to cool then eat.
- Roasted Pumpkin
Diced pumpkin can be added to roast vegetables to add variety of texture and flavour.
Add pumpkin to a vegetable soup.