Saturday, 8 December 2012

spiced pumpkin and dark chocolate cake

A spiced pumpkin cake with swirls of dark chocolate and chocolate chips.  This cake tastes like Christmas to me and reminds me of lebkuchen (German/East European spiced gingerbread cakes) and stem ginger covered in dark chocolate.  The dark chocolate and sweet pumpkin works brilliantly together in this warmly spiced cake - perfect for the cold weather and a great alternative to a traditional Christmas cake. 

3 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tin (425g) pumpkin puree (you could make your own from cooked and blended pumpkin/sweet potato)
200g dark chocolate (I used 80% cocoa - you can use a lower strength - but it does need to be dark chocolate with a high cocoa content)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg

preparation time:  20 minutes
cooking time:  45-60 minutes

  • preheat the oven to 175C and grease and flour your tin - I used a 26cm bundt pan

  • in a large bowl add the eggs, oil and sugar and whisk for a few minutes until the mix is light and airy.

  • add the pumpkin puree and mix for another minute

  • sieve in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices, salt and stir in carefully until it is all well mixed.

  • in a separate bowl melt 100g of chocolate either over a bain marie or in short bursts in the microwave (it always takes less time than you think - I check after every 10-20 seconds until it is melted).
  • chop/break into chunks the remaining 100g of chocolate 
  • separate the cake mixture into 2 bowls and into one mix the melted chocolate and the other the chocolate chunks.

  • spoon the mixture alternately into your prepared tin - smooth the top and bake for 45-60 minutes

  • it is cooked when a skewer comes out clean

  • leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack
  • leave until completely cool before cutting into slices.

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