This is my first challenge as a new member of The Cake Slice Bakers.
I believe they cook a recipe each month from a book for a year. The book they have chosen for this year is Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman.
I got myself a copy of this from Amazon and I'm really glad I did. The main idea of the book seems to be for people who like to bake fairly simple cakes but have a cake on the go all the time. What a lovely idea - just to keep a cake on the counter (in a beautiful glass cake stand with dome, of course, wee Christmas hint to my husband if he is reading) for anyone to help themselves to at any time.
The chapters divide the book into - snacking cakes, round cakes, loaf cakes, Bundt cakes, crumb cakes and angel food and chiffon cakes. No, I have no idea what those last two are but I'm looking forward to finding out. I think I will probably have to buy my first Bundt tin at some point too.
It is an American book so I have bought myself some cup measurements and thought I would try baking the American way. I have already started scribbling notes inside the book to remind me where a conversion is needed. Most importantly, I now know a stick of butter = 4oz = 113g. Previous to this, I would have just dismissed any book which used US measurements so this opens a whole new world of baking to me. I think that's the whole point of a baking challenge isn't it? To broaden my horizons. And, of course, I would never have ever used pumpkin in baking before either, so two "firsts" with my first challenge.
So, the first recipe - Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake is brilliantly seasonal. The only problem was getting hold of any tinned pumpkin as it is not really available in the UK and all the online shops importing stuff from the US were out of stock due to a shortage. I just kept pestering them, though, and finally managed to get myself a couple of tins.
The cake was really easy and quick to make and it came out well. Easy to slice, looked good and tasted perfect for Autumn - a little bit earthy but sweet and with oozing dark chocolate. Lovely and moist too. It lasted less than a day. We all ate a fair bit earlier in the day and then my in-laws unexpectedly came round so it was great having a freshly baked treat just sitting there to serve to them. Once I get my lovely cake stand with the glass dome, this will definitely be one of the cakes I will have sitting at the ready inside it.
9" X 5" loaf tin.
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup miniature dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350F, 180C, GM 4. Grease and flour a 9" X 5" loaf tin.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 mins.
4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, 55mins to an hour.
7. Let the cake cool in the tin for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up to cool completely.
8. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge, wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 week.
To see the results of the challenge by other Cake Slice Bakers, visit the the cake slice blogroll.
Can't wait for the next challenge.