Pumpkin, walnut and white chocolate loaf cake
One of the ironic things about living in the middle of the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside is that, while I may be surrounded by nature’s bounty and there may be pumpkins growing in the field next door, if I wanted to pop out to purchase a tin of pumpkin puree I’d find it rather hard to track one down without travelling miles. With the popularity for celebrating Hallowe’en here in the UK and demand for Lincolnshire pumpkins ever growing you’d have thought that some of the American baking traditions would have crossed the Atlantic too. Pumpkin puree is used as regularly in the US as we use carrots for carrot cake and makes a wonderfully velvety addition to cakes, loaves and traybakes. You can purchase it in some of the bigger supermarkets and of course you can order it online, but failing that it’s pretty simple to make your own from fresh, which I did for this wonderfully moist and rich pumpkin loaf cake.
• Take your pumpkin, cut the top off and then cut it in half across the middle and scoop out the seeds and the pith, then cut it into quarters.
• Lay the quarters, flesh side down, onto a baking tray with a little water in.
• Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour on 200C.
• Once they are soft, take them out of the oven, allow them to cool and scoop out the flesh.
• Puree with a handheld blender or a fork.
• Place the flour in a large bowl and add the butter, crumble it together with your hands.
• Add the chopped walnuts, chocolate, sugar and almonds and stir in.
• Beat the eggs with the pumpkin puree then add this to the bowl – beat well together.
• Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake on 190C for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
• Cool on a wire rack before icing.
• For the icing whisk the cream cheese, sugar and cream together until stiff, then add any food colouring of your choice – I’ve gone for a subtle pale orange but you could go as garish as you like – it is Hallowe’en after all!
For more info on National Baking Week go to www.nationalbakingweek.co.uk and for the best Lincolnshire pumpkins go to www.david-bowman.co.uk
Eat and of course, enjoy!
Don’t forget to follow Dominic on his blog: belleaukitchen.blogspot.com