Tuesday, November 1, 2011

From the Archives... Once upon a time I toyed with the idea of writing a blog about food and baking...

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger-Chocolate Ganache and Cream Cheese Frosting

This is the best cake I've ever made.  I'd originally thought of putting a different recipe up for the first day of molls practical review, but this cake was just too good and it immediately skipped to the beginning of the line.  I'm a big fan of cooking with pumpkin, as it is a great alternative to butter and oil.  This cake uses much less butter/oil, sugar, and flour than traditional recipes, but the result is amazing.  There is no compromise in texture or flavor, it's amazing.

Pictured is a double recipe: a 4-layer cake made in 6" rounds. 


1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup oil (I used 1/2 olive, 1/2 canola)
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
2 T honey or agave
1 T molasses
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t allspice

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking pans with parchment paper and a little butter or oil.
2. Mix wet ingredients (first 8 listed) well in a mixer.
3. Wisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
4. Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients and pour into prepared baking pans.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.  Cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean.

 Simple Ginger-Chocolate "Ganache:"
1/3 cup milk or cream
1 oz fresh ginger (chopped into small pieces)
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Heat cream or milk in a saucepan, just to the boiling point
2. Pour over chopped ginger in a glass bowl
3. Let steep for ~25 minutes
4. Re-heat the ginger and milk/cream to just before the boiling point
5. Put chocolate in the same glass bowl while it's heating
6. Pour hot cream mixture through a strainer over the chocolate
7. Stir until chocolate chips are melted

I was being impatient, so I used the ganache fairly quickly after this point, but you could also make it ahead and let it cool.  I needed to put my cake in the freezer for a few minutes after adding the ganache layer to help it firm up.

1 8 oz package low-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
3 T butter (room temperature)
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 t salt (less if using salted butter)
1 t vanilla

2 T Chopped Crystallized Ginger

1. Mix cream cheese and butter until they are well incorporated, then slowly add sugar, 1/4-1/2 cup at a time, checking for consistency.  Add vanilla and salt before the final addition of sugar.

Frost cake in layers, rotating ganache and frosting as desired.  Top with crystallized ginger (and pinwheels if it happens to be someone's birthday!)  Serve with vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

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