Munchkin – Pumpkin
PUMPKIN, well in favour of the vegetable, it does have the word ‘kin’ in it. But all my life (even now) it was quite the opposite of kin. It was, is and I think will always be one of those vegetables that most people in my family hate/hated (unless very cleverly disguised. Hmmm…).
To give you a perspective, both, my Dad and my husband, would rather go hungry, than have pumpkin. Really. I have tried various recipes with the poor pumpkin and believe it or not most of them have backfired and well, as a result, they did choose to go hungry.
I love pumpkins and I hate the fact that my most favourite men can’t see me eye to eye when it comes to this particular vegetable. Well, there are a few things we don’t see eye to eye on, but this one is currently important because this post is in honour of this humble vegetable. I mean come on, pumpkins are sweet, they are versatile (of course, if you know the different ways they can be relished in), and they are yummy and extremely ‘cook’ friendly.
On the versatility of it, while you might roll your eyes and say you got as far as pumpkin pie, but that too didn’t make the cut with the haters, I have the light sabre for you. This one is a cake, where the pumpkin is the hero, but lets the supporting cast take the ‘cake’. Much like in the movies, where sometimes the main character lets the supporting cast shine. So, here’s presenting a very delicious and a very deceptive pumpkin and buckwheat cake. Believe you me, you can fool them and fool them blind with this one! Let’s get started.
For the cake
Buckwheat flour – 2 cups
Refined flour – 1 cup
Butter – 1 cup (room temperature)
Sugar – 1 ½ cups
Eggs – 3 nos
Pumpkin puree – 250 gms
Beetroot powder – 2 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
For the icing
Cream cheese – 250 gms
Icing sugar – 1 cup
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Milk – 1 tsp
For the cake
- To make the pumpkin puree, take 250 gms of pumpkin and boil it well. Once the pumpkin is soft, drain the water and mash the pumpkin with a fork.
- Then, mix the dry ingredients together (except the sugar) in a bowl.
- Now in a big mixing bowl, take the butter and add the sugar to it. Cream the butter and sugar until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is about twice the quantity of when you started. Creaming is nothing but whisking the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Now step 3. Step 3 comes in 3 parts, and here they go: Part 1 – add one egg to the butter and sugar mixture and whisk until the egg is well incorporated. Part 2 – add another egg and repeat the process. Part 3 – add the 3rd egg and whisk again, for at least a good 5 minutes. At this point, if the mixture looks a little split, don’t panic. It will all come together once you add the dry ingredients.
- Now add the pumpkin puree/mash and mix well once again.
- Next, grab the bowl with the dry ingredients; again, DO NOT tip the entire bowl of dry ingredients all at once. Add about 1/3rd of the mix into the wet ingredients and mix well, keep adding and mixing the dry mix to the wet mix, little by little, while you mix well every single time. Once all of the dry ingredient mix is added, give it one good, final mix, and you are good to go baking.
- First pre-heat your oven.
- Line your cake tin with parchment paper, and tip in the cake batter into it.
- Bake the cake at 160 degree Celsius for 35 minutes. Done.
- Make sure you test if the cake is cook by pricking it in the centre with a fork. If the fork comes out clean you’re good to go. If not, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Once ready leave the cake to cool. While it cools, get your super simple icing ready.
For the icing
- In a bowl, add the cream cheese and icing sugar, whisk until you have a smooth and creamy mixture.
- Add the lime juice and milk and whisk again until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Icing done.
Bringing it together
- Once the cake has cooled, slather the icing on to the top of the cake and the sides.
- Now you can be extremely neat and precise with the icing by smoothing it evenly with a palette knife. But, if you’re lazy like I am and just love a sloppy, luscious slathering of the delicious icing, all over the cake, go for it!
- If you don’t have beetroot powder, don’t worry, just peel a beetroot and steam it until soft and puree it. You can add this puree in the process, when you add the pumpkin puree.
- During the entire process of making the cake batter, you can get your kids to do all the whisking and mixing. They love doing that, and as treat for their hard work, they could lick the spoon and the bowl. It’s yummy believe me.
- Always, always, always pre-heat your oven. Pre-heating is a simple process, where you switch on your oven in advance, and let it reach the desired temperature (in this case 160 degree Celsius), so that when you pop the cake tin in the oven, the cake (or whatever it is you are baking), bakes evenly. Or else, what ends up happening the top and the bottom may cook much faster, and by the time the middle of the cake gets cooked, the top will get burnt. And you don’t want that.
- The icing will drip if you serve the cake fresh with fresh icing. Don’t beat yourself about it. It’s delicious!
- You can store this beauty in the refrigerator and it was last for at least a week and a half. So, there you go, good investment too!
So, there we go, the humble pumpkin elevated to a whole new level. Your kids and your family will love this cake. It has an amazing flavour, and you could actually sit around with your family at tea-time and get your family to guess the ingredients of the cake, trust me it’s good fun! Anyway, so there goes, another amazing recipe, with another humble star ingredient. Make sure you try this one at home and let me know if you could convince your family to be fans of the golden pumpkin. Don’t forget to follow me on social media, and if there is anything specific you’d like me to write about, don’t forget to leave a comment in the comments section. See you soon!