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Pumpkin Spice up your Kitchen: Baking with Pumpkin

It’s a cold autumn evening, you’ve carved into your pumpkin ready to place on your porch to ward off evil spirits, and an idea begins to possess you. Maybe it’s the smell of pumpkin cooking up ideas, maybe you can’t get enough of pumpkin spiced lattes or maybe you’ve got the Great British Bake Off on your brain. Here is some tasty treats to cook up in your cauldron before the spooky season ends. 

Spiced Pumpkin Latte Cheesecake

Ingredients

2 cups. graham cracker crumbs 

3/4 cups lightly toasted hazelnuts or pecans 

1/2 cups butter 

1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar 

3 package cream cheese 

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice 

1/2 tsp. salt 

1 8-ounce container sour cream 

2 tsp. vanilla extract 

4 large eggs 

1 1/2 tbsp. instant coffee 

1 cups. pumpkin puree 

Sweetened whipped cream (Optional) 

Cinnamon sticks (Optional) 

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350F/Gas Mark 4/180C. In a large bowl, stir together first 4 ingredients until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F/Gas Mark 3/170°C  

Step 2

Beat cream cheese and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla, beating until just blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Remove 3/4 cup batter and set aside. 

Step 3

Stir together instant coffee and 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved. Add coffee and pumpkin to remaining batter, beating just until blended. Pour pumpkin batter into prepared crust. Spoon dollops of reserved batter over pumpkin batter and swirl.

Step 4

Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour or until center is almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan). Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Cover and chill 24 hours. 

Step 5

Serve with desired toppings.  

Pumpkin and Salted Caramel Cake 

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake 

2 cups flour 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

15 oz pumpkin puree 1 can, 1 3/4 cups 

2 cups sugar 

3/4 cup vegetable oil I usually use light flavored olive oil 

4 eggs 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Salted Caramel Sauce 

1/2 cup heavy cream 

1 cup sugar 

1 tablespoon corn syrup 

1/4 cup water 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter 

3/4 teaspoons salt such as good quality sea salt 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

Candied Nuts 

2 cups pecans roughly chopped 

1/4 cup brown sugar 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

2 tablespoons water 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 

Salted Caramel Frosting 

12 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks 

4 oz cream cheese 1/2 block 

2 cups powdered sugar 

1/3 cup caramel sauce from recipe above, or good quality store-bought, see notes 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

Method

Pumpkin Cake

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350F/ Gas Mark 4/ 180C. Grease and lightly flour the sides of your baking pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, then set aside.  

Step 2

In another large bowl, whisk the pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla and stir (stir vigorously by hand or on medium speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds or so). 

Step 3

Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until completely combined. 

Step 4

Divide batter into prepared pans and bake cakes until the tops are slightly rounded and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean (no wet batter).

Step 5

Cool the cakes in the pans about 10 minutes, then (carefully) remove from pans and cool fully on a cooling rack. 

Caramel Sauce

Step 1

Warm the heavy cream in a bowl in the microwave and then set aside. 

Step 2

In a large saucepan, add the sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Stir gently to incorporate the ingredients. 

Step 3

Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring gently, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. 

Step 4

Stop stirring and allow the mixture to boil undisturbed until it begins to darken in color.  You want the mixture to reach a honey color, but no darker.  The syrup will change from light in color to dark very quickly, so it’s important to watch closely and remove the pan from the heat as soon as it’s light-medium honey color. 

Step 5

Once removed from heat, carefully and slowly pour in the warm heavy cream (the mixture will hiss and bubble).  Stir to full incorporate the cream.

Step 6

Add butter and salt and stir to combine.  Add vanilla. 

Step 7

Allow sauce to cool a bit, then pour into a jar. Cool at room temperature, then cover jar and store in the refrigerator. 

Candied Nuts

Step 1

Add pecans, brown sugar, butter and water to a heavy bottom saucepan and cook over medium heat.  Stir to combine ingredients. 

Step 2

Allow the mixture to come to a boil and boil, while stirring occasionally, until most all of the water has evaporated (so there is not much sauce in the pan, it’s move of just a coating on the pecans), about 5- 10 minutes. 

Step 3

Remove pan from heat and add salt and cinnamon.  Stir well. 

Step 4

Spread the nuts onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet and break up any clusters. Allow to cool.

Salted Caramel Frosting

Step 1

Cut cold butter into a few large pieces and then, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. 

Step 2

Add cream cheese and blend until fully combined and smooth. 

Step 3

Add about half of the powdered sugar, then while the mixer is running, pour in the caramel sauce.  The caramel sauce should be no warmer than room temperature.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Continue blending and add the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. The frosting should be thick, creamy and fluffy. 

Step 4

Place the bowl of frosting in the fridge to firm up, then beat once more before use. 

Assemble The Cake

Step 1

Level and split cake layers as desired. For easy assembly, add the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip.  This is optional. 

Begin with a layer of cake on the plate or cake stand of your choice.  Add a layer of frosting by piping a large spiral, then spread as needed with an offset spatula.  Alternatively, scoop a large dollop of frosting onto the cake layer, and spread as needed with an offset spatula.  Add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top of the frosting. 

Repeat layers of cake, then frosting, then a caramel drizzle. 

On top of the cake add a generous topping of candied nuts. Enjoy!  

Check out Short Girl Tall Order here for a vegan alternative: 

Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin   

Ingredients

1 whole pumpkin 

1-2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar 

butter 

brown sugar to taste 

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400F/Gas Mark 6/200C. Prepare the pumpkin by cutting in half, scooping out the seeds, and cutting into even sized pieces, skin on.  

Step 2

Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle the sugar lightly on top. Place a small pat of butter on top of each piece of pumpkin. This will add a nice caramelization to the pumpkin. 

Step 3

Bake for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin pieces. Cover with foil if tops start to burn. 

Step 4

Remove from the oven and serve with a cube of butter and brown sugar.

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon ground cloves 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened 

2 cups sugar 

2 large eggs 

1 15-oz can 100% pure pumpkin 

Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325F/ Gas Mark 3/170C. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour. 

Step 2

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined; set aside. 

Step 3

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. 

Step 4

Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.

Step 5

Turn the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Step 6

Fresh out of the oven, the loaves have a deliciously crisp crust. If they last beyond a day, you can toast individual slices to get the same fresh-baked effect. 

Pumpkin and Pecan Strudel

Ingredients

1kg/2lb 4 oz pumpkin or butternut squash (peeled weight- 1 medium pumpkin or 1 large butternut squash), deseeded and cut into large chunks 

2 tsp vegetable oil 

140g soft light brown sugar , plus extra for sprinkling 

100g ground almond 

100g fresh white breadcrumb 

1 large egg , beaten, ½ tbsp reserved for glazing 

1 tbsp ground cinnamon 

good grating nutmeg 

6 sheets filo pastry 

85g butter , melted 

100g pecan , chopped, 1 tbsp reserved for the top 

maple syrup , to serve 

cream or custard , to serve (optional) 

Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas Mark 6. Toss the pumpkin or squash with the oil on a baking tray. Bake for 45 mins until really tender, then leave to cool.   

Step 2

Tip the pumpkin into a food processor, whizz until smooth, then tip into a bowl. Add the sugar, almonds, breadcrumbs, egg and spices, and mix well. This can be done up to 2 days ahead. 

Step 3

Lower oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Layer the pastry sheets on top of each other, brushing some melted butter and a sprinkling of sugar and chopped pecans between each sheet. Spoon the pumpkin filling along one long edge of the pastry in a long log shape, leaving a 2.5cm gap at either end. Turn up the ends, then carefully roll up the strudel and brush the edge with egg to seal.

Step 4

Transfer to a baking tray, sealed-side down. Brush with the reserved egg, drizzle over any leftover butter and sprinkle with the reserved pecans and extra sugar. Bake for 40 mins until golden and crisp. Leave to stand for 10 mins before slicing, then serve with maple syrup and cream or custard, if you like. 

Pumpkin Pie 

Ingredients

750g/1lb 10oz pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks 

350g sweet shortcrust pastry 

plain flour, for dusting 

140g caster sugar 

½ tsp salt 

½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated 

1 tsp cinnamon 

2 eggs, beaten 

25g butter, melted 

175ml milk 

1 tbsp icing sugar 

Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain pumpkin; let cool. 

Step 2

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Step 3

Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.

Step 4

Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Serve chilled.

For the vegan alternative, check out minimalist baker here

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