Archive for October, 2015

Holy Pumpkin!

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

witchhat copy

Readers of this blog may be under the impression that I eat rich desserts all the time. Actually, my usual dessert (if I eat one) is a piece of fresh fruit. I do post a lot of dessert recipes, however; I’m proud of my baking, and I love to see people enjoy something sinfully sweet, even when I’m dieting.

In any case, one HAS to post something sweet for Halloween! So I’m sharing the formula for the chocolate-chip pumpkin cake I made this week on Mass Appeal. My appearance came the day after co-host Seth Stutman’s 30th birthday so I felt obliged to make a cake. Seth appeared pleased—and he certainly enjoyed the cake.

(Bill Collins, who cooked on the show the day before, did light a candle on a cheesecake, but that chef didn’t sing “Happy Birthday.” And a birthday isn’t a birthday without a serenade.)

I also made a satisfying version of my Irish Stout Cheese using yellow cheddar cheese to make it seasonal and an Oktoberfest ale instead of the stout. Personally, if I had to choose between cheese and cake, I would choose cheese. I’m glad no one is forcing me to make this excruciating decision!

The videos are embedded below. The gist of the cake-making is in the first video about that (the second one below); tune into the follow-up video only if you’re a fan of sprinkles and loud singing. (I like both.)

Cocoa, Rhubarb, and I wish everyone a Happy Halloween!

Halloween dogweb

Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Chips

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups non-GMO canola oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3-1/8 cups flour
2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15-ounce can)
2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a large bundt pan. Mix the oil and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in the vanilla, followed by the baking powder, the baking soda, and the spices. Stir in the flour, followed by the pumpkin and the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake tests done (about an hour). Ice with cream-cheese frosting and seasonal sprinkles. Serves 10 to 12.

And here are the videos:

[youtube width=”420″ height=”315″]https://youtu.be/eNRNhI_B68E[/youtube]

[youtube width=”420″ height=”315″]https://youtu.be/gIGtsLXCePQ[/youtube]

[youtube width=”420″ height=”315″]https://youtu.be/a8zUwagpDc8[/youtube]

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Monday, October 12th, 2015
Halloween begins to weave its spell at the Casa Tinky.

Halloween begins to weave its spell at the Casa Tinky.

Pumpkin season is here, and I’m embracing it. Part of my love for pumpkin at this time of year is related to its remarkable color. I savor the way its orange reflects our New England trees (and inspires me to start decorating the house for Halloween!).

I enjoy cooking with pumpkin as well as looking at the fruit, of course; it melds beautifully with a variety of sweet and savory flavors. I am particularly happy when pumpkin preparation involves baking. I spend much of the summer avoiding turning on my oven—but when fall arrives I welcome the chance to give the house that extra measure of heat.

Fall baking doesn’t only make us feel warm. It fills the house with lovely aromas that remind us of childhood pleasures. This particular pumpkin dessert smells divine in the oven; scents of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and butter waft through the house and tempt even the most virtuous dieter.

I adapted the recipe from one a friend sent me last year; the original came from an old community cookbook.

The cake’s name is misleading. Yes, it’s pumpkin. But it’s not made entirely by dumping, and it’s not really a cake. It’s a bit goopy coming out of the pan.

I couldn’t come up with a better term, however. It’s not a crisp or a crumble. It could be called an upside-down pumpkin pie—but that name doesn’t feel quite right either.

The recipe is worth bothering with, however, because whatever you call it, it’s delicious. I like it MORE than pumpkin pie. I baked it on Mass Appeal last week (along with my favorite meatloaf), and it made everyone there happy.

My extremely autumnal hat also made everyone happy!

Seth couldn't resist the hat!

Seth couldn’t resist the hat!

The cake mix called for in the recipe is a large one, like King Arthur Flour’s golden vanilla cake mix. If you don’t have that on hand, you may either use a regular smaller cake mix (in which case you’ll want to reduce the amount of butter required in the recipe) or make your own mix with 3-1/4 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.

You won’t have any vanilla in the latter combination, but you may add some along with the melted butter—or assume (as I did) that the pumpkin and spices will give the “dump cake” sufficient flavor.

dump on tableweb

Pumpkin Kinda Sorta Dump Cake

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 29-ounce can pumpkin (or about 3-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large box yellow cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, melted

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9-by-13-inch pan. In a large bowl beat the eggs; then beat in the evaporated milk, the spices, the salt, and the pumpkin. Stir in the sugars and blend. Pour the resulting mixture into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle the cake mix over the top and make sure it is fairly even; then drizzle the melted butter over all. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool before cutting and serving. Serve with whipped cream.

Serves 12.

Here is the dump-cake video:

[youtube width=”420″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kk5aw0O5iU[/youtube]

And here is the meatloaf video, in which I wax poetic about why I love to cook.