pumpkin cake (1)It was a hefty week. I started work on a new project, spent a lot of time on the phone conducting interviews and planning photo shoots, rounded off the last DUTCH of 2015 and brainstormed new recipes for this blog. I am not even going to think of the things I didn’t do. If anyone wants to come and sweep the garden or organize my pigsty of a closet, let me know. I have wine.
And cake…
A moist, richly spiced pumpkin cake drizzled with a lusciously glossy chocolate sauce.

OK. I know. Perhaps I may be going just a little over the top here with the pumpkin recipes, but how can I possibly resist? To me, pumpkins are the essence of fall, whether on our plate or decorating our front porch. When I first moved to the Netherlands, I had to search high and low when the season rolled around because they were so hard to find! In fact, my first Halloween saw me carving a teeny tiny little pumpkin — I just couldn’t find one of a reasonable size! Actually, Halloween didn’t even exist here back then! Fortunately, that has changed and now there’s plenty of pumpkins to carve and eat… and I’m not the only one decorating the house!
After last Monday’s chili, I was left with a few slices of pumpkin. Too little for dinner or even for a soup for lunch, but just enough for a cake. Choosing what kind of cake, however, was not going to be easy. I thought of a coffee cake with a nice nutty topping. Or maybe even a marbled pumpkin cheesecake. Ultimately, I decided on the beauty you see here. I think the magic of this cake was courtesy of the roast pumpkpin (tons of flavor) and the sour cream (moist, delicate crumb). The combination of dark brown sugar and fragrant spices also helped. And a bittersweet sauce made with dark chocolate was its crowning glory. If you’re in the mood to bake this weekend, I’d give this one a go.
Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate Sauce
Serves 8

  • 300 g peeled and cubed pumpkin
  • 125 g soft butter
  • 150 g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 g sour cream
  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • 60 ml single cream
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 200C and butter and flour a medium-sized bundt pan. Put the pumpkin in a small roasting pan with a few tablespoons of water. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. You may have to add a little more water toward the end. Check for doneness by mashing a piece of pumpkin with a fork. It should be tender but not mushy. Once it’s done, mash and set aside. Now lower the oven temperature to 180C. Beat the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs in one by one as the machine continues to do its work. Now add in the sour cream and the mashed pumpkin and continue to whisk for a minute or two. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Fold the dry ingredients gently through the wet. Scrape the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. To make the sauce, slowly melt the chocolate au bain marie with the rest of the ingredients. Leave to stand for a few minutes and drizzle over the cooled cake,
pumpkin spice cake

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