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/

Curried Cauliflower Soup

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.

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Serving Size: serves 4 - 6

Ingredients

  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  3. 1 cauliflower, stem trimmed and cut into small pieces
  4. 1 small potato, peeled and choped
  5. 1 green apple, peeled and chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon curry powder
  7. 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  8. 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. In a large saute pan, cook the onions in the oil over medium heat until softened and slightly golden in color.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
http://familystylefood.com/2010/09/curried-cauliflower-soup/

Sicilian-Spiced Roasted Cashews

I don’t know about you, but I’m about done with winter – for some reason this one seems endlessly gray, cold and dreary. But change is in sight, I think; this week I noticed that the days are a bit longer, with the daylight fading into darkness just a few minutes later than last week.

I found myself looking through my stack of cookbooks looking for some inspiration, and lingered over one with a beautiful image of a sun-soaked bowl of golden cherries on the cover: a collection of recipes from Gangivecchio, a restaurant in Sicily that dates back to Roman times. I’m not sure what the weather is like in Sicily at this time of year, but somehow I feel warm imagining myself walking around the winding streets of Palermo, shopping the outdoor markets.

Lidia Bastianach, the Italian chef and cooking teacher, describes in her book Lidia’s Italy how the North African summer sun gives food produced there here an intensity not found anywhere else in Italy

“…the tomatoes are sweeter, the oil is more deeply flavored, the fennel has more licorice, capers are nuttier, and the anchovies and sea urchins taste more of the sea”.

Sounds good to me. In the spirit of hot summers to come, I roasted a batch of cashews and seasoned them with some of the intense tastes of Sicily: fennel, cumin, anise, hot pepper and orange.


Sicilian-Spiced Roasted Cashews

Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients

  1. 2 egg whites
  2. 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
  3. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  5. Freshly ground black peppercorns, to taste
  6. 1/4 teaspoon each: ground cumin, fennel, cayenne, paprika, anise seed
  7. 3 cups raw whole cashews
  8. Grated fresh orange or tangerine zest

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients except the cashews and zest until combined. Toss in the cashews and stir them around until they're evenly coated.
  3. Spread the cashews on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake 20 -25 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Cool on a rack - they will crisp up after about 10 minutes. Grate orange zest over the cashews while still warm.
http://familystylefood.com/2010/02/sicilian-spiced-roasted-cashews/