Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to Cake Slice and Pumpkin

I’ve been happily visiting Katie’s blog Apple and Spice for quite some time and always admired the creations she made as part of the baking group Cake Slice.

When she mentioned that they had finished the book they were working on and so could accept new members I jumped at the chance to belong. Although I loved the Daring Bakers when they were smaller, lately they seem to have grown bigger than I’m comfortable with…it is hard to be part of such a large community and still feel connected to the members. The Cake Slice isn’t tiny, but seems somehow cozier. The members have certainly been welcoming and I’ve discovered some new and wonderful blogs, too.

For my first month as a member the recipe of choice is Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake from our current book Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman.

I baked the recipe just as written except that I baked it in four small loaf pans instead of one large one. I love the pumpkin flavor mixed with chocolate and walnuts. The spice is just assertive enough but doesn’t take over. Perhaps it was my technique, but my cakes were more like quick breads than pound cake in texture…fairly open crumbed. I can attest that not only are slices of this cake great with both coffee and tea, but when baked in smaller loaves they make very welcomed gifts.

We have something like 99 more recipes in this great book, so visit again next month to see what the Cake Slice bakers are baking.

Right now, before you forget, do visit some of my new baking buddies. The Cake Slice blogroll is found HERE.

This is an easy to make cake, although there are a few tips:
1) Make sure to really cream the butter and the sugar. Take your time.
2) Add the eggs one at a time, not all at once. I found I really needed to scrape the bowl after each one had been mostly incorporated.
3) The batter will look curdled right before you add the flour mixture. That’s OK. It turns out fine once the flour mixture goes in.


October’s Cake: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)
Makes one 9 by 5 inch loaf cake

Ingredients
1¾ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
Pinch nutmeg
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Method
Heat the oven to 350F. Coat the inside of a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

With the mixer on medium low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Stir in the milk.

Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week.

Note: If baking in smaller pans, check the doneness after 30 -35 minutes.

9 comments :

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That looks so delicious. I like the idea of the smaller loaves as gifts. Who wouldn't be thrilled to receive one?

Felice said...

I was also thinking that small loaves would make great gifts. Yours look great.

Katie said...

Your mini loaf cakes look delicious. I love the idea of using them as gifts too. Perfect for Christmas. Thanks for baking with us

Caroline said...

Great job on this month's cake, welcome to The Cake Slice.

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Great gift idea. I love your photographs - they make the cakes look so tempting.

Anna said...

They came out beautifully! The nuts look so nice in there - I omitted them, but I can see from your pic how they would bring more texture to it.
The loaves would make lovely presents!

Andreas said...

Lovely cakes.
I've recently made some pumpkin muffins and chocolate and walnuts sound like a good combination with pumpkin.

Monica H said...

Looking at your mini loaves I realize I should have baked mine in mini loaf pans for easier slicing. Next time for sure!

Kelly said...

Eek, your baby cakes are so adorable!

I need to invest in mini loaf pans, that way I can share (and I won't want to eat the entire cake myself). Great idea.