Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze recipe

I’ve pulled this recipe out of my favorites file – a moist, spiced pumpkin pound cake swirled with chocolate and glazed with a shiny-gorgeous chocolate sauce. I shared it over at the Go Bold with Butter blog recently too.

While I haven’t been able to turn the heat on in the house yet – still in denial that fall is here, I guess – my taste for the season is certainly in full swing. And there are lots of delicious things to come…think I’ll go find a big sweater and stock up on firewood.

I really love this time of year.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake

Yield: 10 -12

Ingredients

  1. 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  5. ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  6. ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  7. 3 sticks butter (1 ½ cups), softened
  8. 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  9. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  10. 6 eggs, room temperature
  11. 1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
  12. 2/3 cup plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup Bundt cake pan and lightly dust with flour.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until combined. Remove 1 ¾ cups of this mixture to a second bowl and stir in the pumpkin pie spice and ginger. Stir the cocoa into the remaining flour in the first bowl.
  3. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until creamy. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape out ½ the batter into another bowl and set it aside.
  4. To make the pumpkin batter, add the pumpkin to the batter in the mixing bowl and beat briefly on slow speed to blend. (FYI, the batter might appear curdled at this point, but that’s fine – it will come together when you add the flour). Stir in the spiced flour mixture until just blended.
  5. To make the chocolate batter, stir the reserved butter mixture into the cocoa mixture, alternating with the yogurt, until just blended.
  6. Spoon half the pumpkin batter into the pan; drop half the chocolate batter by spoonfuls over the pumpkin batter, without covering it completely; repeat with the remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters. Put a small, thin knife into the batter and circle it around the pan a few times, then draw the knife back and forth across the width of the pan to swirl the batters together.
  7. Bake about 1 hour, or until a tester emerges with a few moist crumbs. Cool the cake in the pan 15 minutes before inverting onto a rack to cool completely.
  8. When the cake is cool, make chocolate glaze: Put 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate, ½ cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon corn syrup and a pinch of fine salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (but not touching) until melted, stirring until smooth. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting some drip over the sides. Let stand until the glaze sets before serving, about 2 hours, or chill for 30 minutes if you’re in a hurry.
  9. Recipe adapted from Sunset
http://familystylefood.com/2012/10/chocolate-pumpkin-pound-cake-2/

Homemade Apple Pie with Lemon Butter Crust

A piece of homemade pie is such a simple thing when you break it down; a few ingredients that come together in perfect agreement. Butter, flour, sugar, water, apples… as if pie were what they were made to be, happily ever after.

Yes, it’s easy as pie to think about and eat, but I admit to having an avoidance with making pie crust.  If I think too long about the actual labor involved in pie making I tend to move on to something else a bit less scary – chocolate cake, maybe. At least the outcome of chocolate cake isn’t so contingent on a list of fussy factors that can affect pastry, like the temperature of the air, butter, water and even your hands.

Warm hands might work while mixing up a cake batter or rubbing a pork loin with olive oil, but with pastry – not so much.

So, to challenge myself I’ve put pie-making on my list of skills to master. And with the promise of a piece of pie as a reward, it’s not really so hard to do. I remind myself that pie is just a list of ingredients that need a confident hand with a rolling pin to guide them along.

It helps to have a lesson in pie-crust making from an excellent teacher. This video of pastry chef Cindy Salvato demonstrating her method was very instructive for me. Notice how comfortable she is getting her hands in the dough, rolling and smacking it. You can see who’s in charge, and it’s not the pie dough.

I liked Cindy’s style, and it encouraged me to get in there and make some pie.

I used Honeycrisps since they are just now arriving in markets, and they worked perfectly, their taste is nicely sweet-tart, and they keep their shape and texture after baking – I cannot stand mushy apples. I also left the peel on out of sheer laziness and that turned out just fine in the finished pie.

Here a few keys to making a perfect pie I picked up from Cindy:

    • Use cool, not cold or softened butter. Cindy recommends butter not be “stone cold”, but at 55 degrees. I took the temperature of my butter with an instant thermometer directly out of the fridge and  it was right there.
    • Don’t be afraid to add more water if the dough seems dry. Add a little at time and use your hands.
    • Use a glass pie dish for even heat distribution.
    • Add lemon zest. Lemon makes everything better.
    • Big chunks of butter in the dough are desirable. They create those flaky air pockets as the pie bakes.
    • Don’t be intimidated by pie dough. Remember you are the master of the kitchen!
Homemade Apple Pie with Lemon Butter Crust

Yield: 1 pie

For best results, let the pie cool completely - preferably overnight - to allow the natural pectin in the apples to work. Cutting directly into a freshly baked, warm pie is tempting, but it won't be set properly.

Adapted from Cindy Salvato

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon fine salt
  4. 2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon zest
  5. 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons), cut into chunks
  6. 1/2 cup ice water plus more if needed
  7. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  8. for the filling:
  9. 3 pounds firm apples such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp (about 6 or 7 apples)
  10. 1 tablespoon rice flour or all-purpose flour
  11. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  12. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  13. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  14. 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and zest. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a fork until the butter is pieces about the size of large peas. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and add the water and lemon juice.
  2. Blend with a fork until the dough starts to come together. If there's flour on the bottom of the bowl, add more water a teaspoon at a time until you can gather the dough into a ball. Divide into two pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour and up to 24 hours.
  3. When you're ready to assemble and bake the pie, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator to soften slightly while you prepare the apples. If it takes more than 15 minutes to deal with the apples, then put the dough back in the fridge until you're ready to fill the pie.
  4. Peel the apples if you want to: core and slice into 1/2-inch thick wedges. Put the slices in a bowl and toss with the flour.
  5. Mix together the sugar, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  6. Smack one package of dough with a rolling pin to flatten. Unwrap and put the dough on a large floured piece of wax or parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour and roll the dough firmly away from you, turning the paper after each roll to create a circle about 2 inches larger than your pie dish. Sprinkle lightly with more flour if you notice the dough starting to stick.
  7. Fold the dough in half gently and place in a pie dish, pressing into the bottom of the dish. Be sure you have an overhang of about an inch all around. Trim off any excess.
  8. Put a layer of apples on top of the dough in a concentric circle, starting at the outer edge. Sprinkle with sugar. Repeat the layering and sugaring 2 or 3 more times, until the apples are generously heaped to the top of the dish.
  9. Take the second piece of dough and repeat the rolling. Put the dough on top of the apples; pull the edge of the top dough over the bottom and pinch together all around the pie.
  10. Use a sharp knife to make 4 vents in the center of the pie.
  11. Put the pie in the oven and turn the oven down to 400 degrees. Bake the pie about 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden and the juices are bubbling.
  12. Cool the pie before slicing to allow the juices to settle. Yum.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/09/homemade-apple-pie-with-lemon-butter-crust/

Rosemary & Bittersweet Chocolate Quick Bread

rosemary-chocolate-bread-recipe

My favorite baking book this year has to be Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole Grain Flours. The recipes are wholesome, accessible and appealing; the photography has a warm, rustic simplicity that I love. When I browse through the book I want to make – and taste – just about everything in it.

I’ve been experimenting with switching out butter for olive oil in baking, which led to Olive Oil & Cocoa Brownies a few weeks ago. I’ve also had this recipe for Olive Oil Cake from Kim Boyce’s book flagged for months, and after making it a few times I can say it’s definitely a keeper.

These are perfect little breads to give as gifts, or to snack on when you crave a bite of something not-too-sweet.

rosemary-chocolate-bread-recipe

I have a special place for rosemary in my cooking, so any time I see an opportunity to highlight its distinctive piney-lemon character I jump in to explore.

The first time I baked this lightly sweet cake (to me it’s actually more of a quick bread than a cake), I threw in some freshly grated lemon zest. Lemon is a nice partner with the fruity taste of the olive oil and chocolate, but it got a little lost in there.

Next, I tried adding some ground coriander, a spice that has essential elements of citrus and balsam. You barely notice it in the background, but I think it naturally unites the slightly unusual pairing of chocolate with rosemary and olive oil.

I couldn’t help gilding the rosemary, so I sprinkled rosemary sugar leftover from my Italian Greyhounds over the tops just before putting them in the oven.

Rosemary & Bittersweet Chocolate Quick Bread

Yield: 1 standard loaf or 4 mini loaves

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup spelt flour (or use an equal amount of all purpose flour)
  2. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  7. 3 eggs
  8. 1 cup olive oil
  9. 3/4 cup milk
  10. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  11. 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces
  12. Rosemary sugar

Instructions

  1. Position an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat 4 small loaf pans (5" x 2") or one regular loaf pan with olive oil. Place the pans on a baking sheet. If using a single loaf pan, you can skip the baking sheet.
  3. Put the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and coriander in a large bowl. Use a whisk to blend the dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the olive oil and whisk together. Add the milk and rosemary and mix again just to blend.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, stirring gently to combine. Stir in the chocolate until evenly distributed.
  6. Divide the batter among the pans and smooth the top. Sprinkle tops evenly with some Rosemary Sugar, about 2 teaspoons each, or regular sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes for small loaves; 45- 50 minutes for standard loaf or until the tops are domed and a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaves comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a rack before slicing either warm or cool.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/04/rosemary-bittersweet-chocolate-quick-bread/