There is something about fall and bundt cakes that just seem to go together. So when I was offered a baby pie pumpkin from a friend’s pumpkin patch, the wheels started turning. The one thing I will say is if you are making your own pumpkin puree, please make sure it drips as much as possible. Canned puree, which by the way isn’t required to be 100% pumpkin, is solidly packed and if there is still liquid in the homemade option it can make baking more moist and they will need a longer baking time.
So for anytime between October 1st and November 30th, pumpkin, apple and spices just seem like a great seasonal choice.
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. cardamon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
14 oz. pumpkin puree
2 apples, peeled grated
1 tsp. rum extract
6 -7 pieces of ginger in syrup, ground
You will need for the maple glaze:
2 Tbsp. Butter
7/8 cup icing sugar
4 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
You will need for the brittle:
scoop of sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
As harvest season comes to an end, I said thank you once more for the gifts of pumpkin and apples. Whether bought and paid for or received with gratitude, we are blessed to have the bounty of the season, especially after the very hot and dry early summer experienced here. Gathering the ingredients together, I was feeling very appreciative of the blessings in my life. May you also find a sense of blessings in your kitchen. Open your heart and begin.
The first step is to prepare the pan. Bundt cake pans and spring forms that are well greased and then dusted with flour, bread crumbs or ground nuts will ensure there are no parts of the cake that stick to the pan. Put aside.
The more detail in the cake form, the more important it is to get into the edges and corners. Adding a layer of dry ingredients and then making sure not to rub it off when adding the finished batter will let the cake drop out easily once baked.
You can see I missed a small section on the left side of the pan. I went back and made sure that it was covered before the batter went into the pan.
This cake is very simple to put together. Simply combine all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and all the wet ingredients, minus the apples in a separate bowl.
It is a subtly flavoured recipe, best served at room temperature, not straight from the fridge. It is also possible to double all the spices, ginger and rum extract if a stronger flavour is more to your liking.
Combine all the dry ingredients.
Pop the ginger into a food processor and blend until mush before adding it to the wet ingredients.
Beat the butter and olive oil together and add the brown sugar. Continue mixing until well combined and then add the pumpkin puree, Greek yoghurt, ginger, eggs and rum extract. Mix until blended.
Peel and grate the apples into the wet ingredients. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir only until blended. Do not overwork the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared form making sure to be gentle with moving the batter into the right position. Bake for 60 minutes and test the cake. If the center comes out clean, it is time to take the cake out. If not an extra five minutes should do the trick.
Set the cake aside and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before running a knife gently around the edges. This is jst in case something did manage to attach itself, even after your diligent work. Turn the form over, releasing the cake onto a cooling rack. Let the cake continue to cool for another hour. It is possible, at this point, to sift some icing sugar over the cake and call it finished. If however you are feeling energetic below is a two step option to finish off the bundt cake, a fudge like drizzle that is then topped with a pecan brittle.
When the cake is cool, melt the butter in a small pan. Once melted continue to cook until the butter begins to brown. I use this technique over cauliflower that my stepmother loves with breadcrumbs, so please believe me when I say “stay close and watch the butter”. It can go from brown to burned very quickly. The butter will bubble and then calm down and brown. It gives an additional layer of flavour to the cake.
Once brown add the icing sugar, maple syrup and salt, continuing to stir so the glaze remains smooth. Take the glaze directly off the stove and pour over the cake. As the topping cools it will become thicker and be more of a challenge to pour. This can happen very quickly.
If there is an issue with viscosity, a small amount of water will thin the glaze and extra icing sugar will thicken it. It is most likely that water will be needed rather than sugar.
Take a scoop of sugar and place in a small frying pan. Over direct medium heat, allow the sugar to melt. The amount of sugar is not important, somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 cup.
The sugar is going to get clumpy as it melts and may require the back of a spoon to break any determined solid bits. Once the sugar is fully liquified, allow the sugar to brown to an amber colour before taking the sugar off the heat and adding the baking soda. Stir together quickly.
Toss in the pecans and transfer to a pan for cooling. Do not touch the sugar as it is very hot. Once cool, break into pieces and top the cake with the pieces.
The plan didn’t work. The cake was completed and I was very aware that the light was quickly going away. It was going to be a problem getting good pictures. Then I was called away and by the time I got back there was no natural light left.
The covered cake sat until the next morning, during which time the brittle dissolved on top of the glaze and left a ring of sticky pecans. If you didn’t see the original cake, you would not know there was anything “wrong”. I share this because it is good to know that things do not go as planned for everyone and sometimes rolling with the punches is the only option.