…baked to perfection…
I am a massive fan of Sally Wise. Huge! I have both of her Slow Cooker recipe books and use them religiously. I have her A Year in a Bottle recipe book on my wishlist and last year I purchased her book Sweet. (I was actually put on to the books by Bron (of Krafty Kuka); another reason why I love her!)
It’s a recipe book chock full of wonderful sweet delights. (Cue the Home Simpson like drool here…) However, the recipe book has been neglected because I purchased it just before we sold our house and moved. Now that we’re “settled” in our new house I decided to get it off the shelf and start working my way through it.
Last week I made the Chocolate Beetroot Cake which was awesome. (Read that awesome in a high pitched sing songy voice!) I would never in a million years even remotely considered a world where beetroot went into a cake; but it works damn it! It works gooooood.
With the chocolate cake success under my belt I decided to do something I wouldn’t normally do; a fruit cake. You see my heart belongs to the Lions Christmas Cake. (To the point where each year I buy 4 of them and stash them in the linen cupboard so we can have Lions Christmas Cake all year round. Don’t judge me, I have a condition!)
But I figured this being my year of living bravely I would stretch myself and try something new, something bold, something pumpkin…
…the smell of boiled pumpkin is really yummy…
I’m not a massive fan of pumpkin, but it’s growing on me. I’ve made a pumpkin, orange and poppy seed cake before and it was amazing, so I kind of figured I like my pumpkin like I like my potato; as a cake.
This cake is divine. It is awesome (again imagine this said in a high pitched sing song voice)! We waited the stated 2 days before cutting into it and it was so moist and melt in your mouth it was worth the 2 days of drooling. (Although I’m sure it would have been just as great straight out of the over – the smell of it straight out of the oven certainly doesn’t help your resolve when it comes to not cutting in to it!)
Here’s the recipe…
250g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 cup cooled mashed pumpkin
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
a few drops of lemon essence
500g mixed dried fruit
1. Heat the oven to 150ºC. Grease a deep 23cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper, grease again.
2. Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest, then whisk in the eggs. Using a metal spoon, mix in the pumpkin, then the combined flours, stirring until smooth. Fold in the dried fruit and lemon essence.
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin. Tap the tin on the bench to make sure there are no air pockets. Bake for 1-1½ hours, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin.
4. Cut into slices to serve. It is best left for 2 days before cutting, but this is not absolutely necessary.
Serves: 8 – 10
Source: Sally Wise, Sweet.
I boiled up a kilogram of pumpkin and then put it through the food processor until it was nearly liquid. A kilogram was way more than needed but I froze the remainder to use again in another baking adventure.
I also made my own mixed dried fruit concoction. I had left overs from my Steamed Christmas Pudding adventure and so I just made up a random mixture of pitted dates, raisins, sultanas, candied fruit, dried cranberries and slivered almonds (totaling 500g in weight) and put this into the mix.
I also just used the juice of the lemon that I zested instead of lemon essence. Not sure if this makes a huge difference but the cake tastes alright so I figure it’s all good.
I wrapped it in 2 layers of aluminum foil and let it stand in a cupboard for 2 days before cutting into it (a feat of strength if ever there was one!) and it didn’t seem to suffer any for not being in an air tight container. Once I cut it however, I re-wrapped it in the same aluminum foil I’d originally used and then popped it in an air tight container.
I’m totally making this cake again… I’m also considering doing a year with Sally ala Julie and Julia. Seriously, the woman is a cooking legend.
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