Well, down jackets have been washed, dried and officially put away for the season – finally! I don’t know if winters feel more brutal every year because they are actually getting colder, snowier and endlessly longer or that I’m finally realizing my destiny is to move back to Miami to sit on a lounge chair under swaying palm fronds and a light coating of perspiration. I said “never again” to the latter, but now that I wrote those words it sounds kind of doable. [Read more…]
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.
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 3 sticks butter (1 ½ cups), softened
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup Bundt cake pan and lightly dust with flour.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To make the chocolate batter, stir the reserved butter mixture into the cocoa mixture, alternating with the yogurt, until just blended.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Recipe adapted from Sunset
I keep hearing that fall weather is on its way; so far where I live in St. Louis it hasn’t exactly happened yet.
There are a few more warm and humid days on the way, but my internal culinary clock can feel a shift is in the works. I’m beginning to think about cooking and eating more substantially, which goes hand-in-hand with those images I have in my head of wearing sweaters and making little puffy breath clouds when I step outdoors.
I had the idea of making a warm, creamy puree of cauliflower the other day when the temperature happened to hit the sticky mid-90’s. But guess what? I adapted, and discovered the beauty of this kind of soup recipe – it tastes just as delicious chilled.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cauliflower, stem trimmed and cut into small pieces
- 1 small potato, peeled and choped
- 1 green apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or heavy cream
- In a large saute pan, cook the onions in the oil over medium heat until softened and slightly golden in color.
- Add the cauliflower, potato, apple, curry and salt and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add enough water or vegetable stock to just cover the vegetables. Lower the heat slightly and cover the pan. Cook 10 -15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender when pierced.
- Let the mixture cool slightly before blending to a smooth puree, adding more liquid if necessary depending on how thick you want your soup. Add the creme fraiche and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and maybe a pinch of sugar to bring up the flavors.