Monday, November 25, 2013

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

It's thanksgiving season, an all American holiday. This day is deeply linked to American history and relationship with the Native Americans.
History part aside, I like this holiday for two reasons:
  • It's a precursor of my favorite season of the year which is of course Christmas time with all its colors, joy, hopeful nature and of course all its sweets.
  • Thanksgiving food, whether savory or sweet, pays a homage to earthy robust flavors and the use of fall produce such as pumpkins. I am a fan of such flavors and recently I'm trying to develop as much recipes as possible to show their true potential. 
Traditionally, pumpkin pies accompany most Thanksgiving meals, but I opted for a cake instead of a pie that marries the deep flavor of chocolate with the sweet earthy flavor of pumpkins.

Without further adieu,this is what you need to make the cake:

For the sponge:

  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 140 g granulated sugar and 60 g dark soft brown sugar
  • 150 g melted and browned butter (melt it over a gentle heat and leave it to become brown in color and nutty in flavor, be careful not burn it)
  • 180 g sifted flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 225 g pumpkin purée
  • 8 g baking powder
  • 90 g melted and cooled chocolate
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • dash of salt
  • tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

For the frosting you need:
  • 300 g cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 100 g butter (room temperature)
  • 150 g salted caramel (or more if you want a sweeter result)
  • 50 g powdered sugar

For the sponge, first combine all the dry ingredient, mix well, set aside. Beat the eggs with the vanilla and slowly start adding the sugar. Keep beating until the egg mixture doubles in volume and becomes rather thick.

Add the chocolate and mix at low speed. Turn off the mixer, add the butter and mix slowly till well combined, fold in the flour, then the pumpkin purée and the maple syrup.

Pour the batter into 3 greased and lined pans (about 18 cm) if you don´t have 3 pans, divide in 3 equal amounts, bake the first batch while the rest is in the fridge. They need about 25 min in a 180C oven.

For the frosting, start mixing the butter and cheese, add the sugar and then the caramel. Mix until well combined. Leave in the fridge for at least half an hour before you frost your cake!

I  brushed each layer with some caramel then added the frosting and finished with a drizzle of caramel over the frosted cake!

Creamy, fudgy, with an exquisite blend of flavors, a perfect cake for thanksgiving or any cold autumn day, a very comforting cake indeed!