Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Great Pumpkin -Cake

Even though I am still trying to deny that fall is upon us, the weather and the produce at the farmer's market are fighting against my illusions.  Pumpkins are here and definitely mean fall and leaves and Halloween.  I was about to try another apple cake, but at the suggestion of my son, I decided to make this cake, which I hadn't made in many, many years. I made a few additions to the original recipe, and it turned out wonderfully.  It is a moist, dense, spicy cake, perfect for this time of year.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Glaze
adapted from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts

3 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries (my addition)
1 cup walnuts, broken into medium size pieces, optional
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, cut into tiny pieces (my addition)
1 1 lb. can plain pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup safflower, corn, canola or other salad oil (not olive oil)
4 eggs

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of non-stick tube pan with unbuttered baking liner paper.
     Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and salt.  Add a tablespoon of the sifted dry ingredients to the raisins and dried cranberries in a bowl.  With your fingers,  toss them to separate and coat with the dry ingredients.  Stir in the nuts and set aside.
     In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place the pumpkin, sugar and oil.  Beat at medium speed until  smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each until incorporated.  On low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beating only until smooth.  Remove from mixer and stir in raisins, dried cranberries and nuts.  Turn into prepared pan.  Bake 55-65 minutes until  a cake tester comes out dry.  Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes.  Cover cake pan with rack and invert. Remove pan and paper.  Cover with another rack and invert again to cool right side up on rack.  When cool, dribble with maple glaze.

Maple Glaze
adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan

6 tablespoons sifted confectioner's sugar
2-3  tablespoons maple syrup

Sift confectioner's sugar in bowl.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of  maple syrup.  Add additional maple syrup a little at a time until you have an icing that runs nicely off the edge of a spoon. ((post by Susan))

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