Friday, 19 October 2012

Pumpkin Loaf Cake with Brown Sugar Icing.

Oh dear, there is a serious possibility that I am steadily getting rounder and more orange as we speak and that by midnight I will be one big shiny pumpkin person. Do you think that’s what happened to Cinderella’s just munched too much pumpkin?

I have made pumpkin soup, pumpkin lasagne, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes and this mega pumpkin loaf cake and I still have 1 and a third pumpkins left. Aaaaand yesterday I unwittingly managed to make it a major component off all the meals....pumpkin for breakfast, lunch and tea. A bit mental but also a bit genius considering I spent £3 on them in all.

Pleaseplease believe me when I say that this loaf cake is indeed mega. It’s one of those cakes that might be a bit of a hard sell given its demure appearance. All brown and dowdy looking it may be, and if you saw it in a shop you may pass it up for a slice for a more spangley option. But please NO.

It is so so tasty and moist and the icing is swooooon-worthy and has that really lovely spice combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger that you would expect from such an autumnal cake. Don’t judge this cake by its cover and make it pleeeease...then we can both turn into pumpkins together and two pumpkin people probably will look less weird than one. With Love and Cake.

Pumpkin Loaf Cake with Brown Sugar Icing.
Adapted from a recipe

A few notes:

  • You can buy pumpkin puree from a can if you can find it, but making your own is easypeasy and muchmuch more of a bargain....I tell you how here.
  • You could make this more healthy and wholesome if you wanted, by replacing some or all of the flour with wholemeal and maybe adding a handful of oats.
  • Using large grained sugar for the icing means that it doesn't all dissolve and you get lovely crunchy bits, which I love, but if you wanted it to be 100% smooth you could substitute soft brown sugar which has finer grains.
Makes 1 loaf
You will need

1 medium loaf tin, greased and lined

For the cake
200g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
300g caster sugar (golden for preference)
115g butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
225g pumpkin puree

For the icing
55g butter
100g raw cane sugar or demerara sugar
2 tbsp milk
pinch salt
splash vanilla extract
75g icing sugar

  • Right, let's get on shall we? First we'll preheat the oven to 180°c.
  • In a medium bowl combine the flour, spices, salt, bicarb and baking powder.
  • In another bowl cream together the sugar, butter and eggs for a few minutes until pale and fluffy and increased in volume.
  • Stir the pumpkin into the egg mixture.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients a bit at a time until everything is well combined.
  • Pour the mixture in your loaf tin and pop in the oven. It will probably need around 1 hour to bake but check after 45 minutes to see if the top is browning too quickly and in danger of burning: if so, top with foil and continue to bake until a knife comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for a while in the tin and then, when it's cool enough to handle, remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • When the cake is cold it's time to make the isn't the sort of icing that you can make ahead really, as it will become more viscous as it cools and be hard to pour over the cake.
  • First, put the butter and cane or demerara sugar in a saucepan and heat very gently, so the butter melts, the sugar starts to dissolve and slowlyslowy you get a dark bronze caramel. Swirl everything around every so often but don't stir.
  • When you have a thick syrup with a rich coffee colour, remove from the heat and whisk in the milk, salt and might not look like everything's mixing too well at this stage but keep going.
  • Sift in the icing sugar and after a bit more whisking you should have a lovely shiny sauce.
  • Pour over the cake and allow to cool before you even think about sampling...sorry but I am not here to induce burny sugar mouth.

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