Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Halloween Special: Bloody Cake!

When the fall season setts in, I try to make good use of its wonderful products. Pumpkins and squashes become a staple of mine during this time of the year. I also like to share a recipe or two that feature pumpkins purée as main ingredient. This healthy fruit never ceases to amaze me with its complex flavor that goes so well in both sweet and savory dishes. 

In recent years, the use of pumpkins was popularized with the spread of Halloween celebrations to almost all parts of the world. Now, as a foodie, pumpkins are definitely not mere decoration for me, but they are the front and center of my Halloween  gory cake. Now I call it "gory" as I drew inspiration for the cake's decoration from the traditional "goriness" that surrounds Halloween celebrations and to satisfy "The Walking Dead" fan in me. If you are a fan of the series too and you have seen the season's premiere, you would understand my choice better. Irrespective of how you will decorate the cake, if you follow my recipe you will really love the cake's flavor and texture. 

Besides pumpkin, the other main ingredient of the cake was cranberries. I was not sure of how well these two flavors will combine, but they did and they did so beautifully. The cake was moist, largely due to the use of pumpkin purée, with spicy notes and bound together by the touch of tartness cranberries add. Of course, cranberries put the "bloody" in this special Halloween cake!

Now, it's time to do some baking.

For the cake (6 to 8 persons) you need :
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 150 melted butter 
  • 8 g baking powder
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 210 g cake flour
  • 220 pumpkin purée (bought or homemade)
  • 100 g frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spices (cloves, star anise, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg)
  • dash of salt
  • zest of half an orange
  • 1/2 tsp of cointreau (optional)
Start by combining the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and spices and set aside.

In your mixing bowl, beat the eggs on a high speed and add the sugar gradually. When the mixture triples in volume, becomes pale and thicker, add the butter at low speed and mix until combined.

With a spatula add the pumpkin purée, mix again, add the orange zest and cointreau and mix. Lastly, fold in the flour mixture and the cranberries.

Pour the batter in three 15 cm pre-prepared pans (or in two 23 cm) and bake in a preheated oven (180 C) for 25 minutes. Remember that the baking time might vary so check on the cake after 20 minutes.

For the frosting you need:
  • 250 g soft butter
  • 250 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 220 g powdered sugar
  • Flavoring: 1/4 tsp mixed spices and few drops of vanilla extract.
Combine all ingredients and beat for about 5 min until creamy and fluffy.

For the cranberry sauce:
  • 100 g cranberries, fresh or frozen 
  • 75 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 strip of orange zest
Combine all ingredients and cook over  a gentle heat for few minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the pits and skin. Let it cool down.

Smear some frosting on your cake tray or stand. Put the first cake layer and pipe a generous amount of frosting, and splatter a teaspoon or two of the cranberry sauce. Add the second layer and repeat. 

Cover the last layer with the frosting. Now all you need is to splatter the rest of the cranberry sauce over the cake and to add some pine nuts that will mimic the appearance of maggots for that extra touch of goriness!

Happy Halloween!

(For extra recipes featuring pumpkins, click here and here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment