Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Pumpkin Roll Comes to a Halt

A spooky looking evening at the lake with wispy clouds trying to cover the moon made me think of foreshadowing with the dreaded end of daylight savings time soon upon us. 
The Autumn Villain

The villain crept by on the slant
towards the Southwest
and the sunset
With his shadow lengthening and following behind him

The brim of the enormous black hat he wore was pulled down
over his eyes, his nose, and his mouth
As if predicting
Days to come when he would have to travel
in almost total shadows
To make up for all his glaring summertime excesses
--Penance for both his suns and his sins

Big brim! It sloped down and even scraped the ground
And when the wind came, draped over the tops of trees

And an investigator
Trying to peer into his eyes
could see only falling leaves....

by Michael Bendikt

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Penuche Icing  
Cook's notes:This cake is a crowd pleaser, sure to impress your company. It's moist and quite flavorful. The penuche frosting is the piece de resistance for this dessert. 
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit October 2007
Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 TB. Saigon cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1-3/4 tsp. allspice
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 can (15. oz.) pure pumpkin not pie filling
  • 1 TB.vanilla
  • 1 TB. orange zest
  • optional 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts 
  • topping mixture: 1/3 cup each toasted coconut and pecans 
Penuche Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 TB. milk or half and half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Cake Directions:

  • Grease a 13 x 9 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a bowl beat both sugars and oil. Add eggs in one at a time. Add in pumpkin, orange zest and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Add flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Add nuts and pour into a prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes clean.
  • Frost cake with Penuche icing and sprinkle with topping mixture.
Penuche Icing Directions:
  • Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in brown sugar. Boil and stir over low heat 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla and cool in pan to lukewarm.
  • Add powdered sugar to saucepan with brown sugar mixture. Beat until smooth with a hand mixer. Add milk as needed for correct consistency. If icing gets too thick can warm pan on stove. 

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