Sunday, 2 November 2014

Creepy Crawly Pumpkin Cake

Happy Halloween!

I know it's a couple of days late, but I've been busy turning out industrial quantities of gingerbread and making pumpkin-based food for a work lunch and then a friend's Halloween party on Saturday night.

Regular readers may remember I made first made these last year. You can find the recipe here.

I also made pumpkin risotto and a pumpkin cake, using the small homegrown pumpkin my dad proudly presented me with on my last trip to Surrey. It is this cake that I am going to give you the recipe for today.

To make this cake, I basically replaced the carrot in a carrot cake recipe with pumpkin. Instead of using the cream cheese frosting usually used in a carrot cake I used buttercream, because cream cheese frosting, though delicious, is less reliable for decorating purposes. This cake will serve 8-10 people.

You will need:

For the cake:
250g grated pumpkin flesh
225g self-raising flour
3 eggs
250ml vegetable or sunflower oil
225g light brown soft sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cake tins of equal size, greased and lined

For the icing:
450g butter
450g icing sugar
170ml boiling water
1 tbsp orange flavouring
170g caster sugar
3 tbsp powdered egg whites (can be found on the internet as ‘meriwhite’ or Dr Oetker has a version that can be found in most supermarkets in the baking aisle)

For the decoration:
100g dark chocolate
1 packet of Malteasers 
1 piping bag with a very fine tipped nozzle fitted

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat together the sugar and oil for the cake in a bowl.

2. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition and then add the grated pumpkin.

3. Add the self-raising flour and spices and fold in. Pour into the two tins and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown, cooked through in the middle and well risen.

4. Make the icing by mixing the powdered egg white and caster sugar.

5. Add the boiling water and whip the meringue mixture into stiff peaks, using an electric whisk or standing mixer if you have one.

6. Beat together the icing sugar and butter for the icing.

7. Beat together the two mixtures, again using an electric or standing mixer until smooth, glossy and stiff enough to hold its shape.

8. When the cakes have cooled, level off the tops with a sharp knife, making them flat. Sandwich together with the buttercream icing and then spread the top and sides of the cake with icing, using a spatula or palette knife. Smooth as much as possible.

9. Melt the dark chocolate by breaking into pieces in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then spoon into the piping bag. Pipe a spiderweb on top of the cake and pipe a line downwards from each corner of the web. Dip the Malteasers in the remaining dark chocolate and leave to set.

10. When the Malteasers have set, put one at the bottom of each line of chocolate you piped down the side of the cake. Arrange the remaining Malteasers on the cake and pipe legs around each Malteaser.

Your creepy cake is finished! And here is a picture of the gingerbread men in situ:

I was dressed to match:



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