I’m not much of a chef, and baking is definitely not my forte, but I thought I’d share this totally improvised recipe as it turned out to be finger-licking good. My measurements are approximate because 1) I don’t own a scale and 2) it was improvised.
Nevermind the blurry pic… At least I took one before we dove in.
For the cake
- 2.5 cups flour
- 0.5 cup almond meal
- 0.75 cup raw sugar
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1kg slice of pumpkin
- 1 cup grated carrot (about half of a big carrot)
- 4 medium eggs
- 0.75 cup olive oil (not virgin, just plain cooking oil)
- 1 generous tsp of vanilla extract
- about 100g of chocolate chips
- A few tbsps of milk (up to 0.25 cup)
For the buttercream
- 50g of softened butter
- 0.5 cup of icing sugar
- 0.5 cup of cocoa powder (the real good stuff)
- 1 tbsp of milk
I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t more orange-y inside.. But it was so moist and yummy, it’s ok!
Wrap the pumpkin slice with foil and bake at 180° in a preheated oven for 1h30 or until tender throughout. Leave to cool then store in fridge. This should be done the day before, or at least half a day before making the cake.
Preheat the oven to 180°.
In a bowl, mix flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Whisk in oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Discard the seeds from the pumpkin slice. Spoon out the flesh into a bowl suitable to use with a stick blender (if you have a mixer / blender, use that instead). Add about 2 tbsps of milk and blend to a smooth thick purée.
Mix the pumpkin purée, grated carrot and chocolate chips with the cake batter. It should be runny-ish (but less runny than pancakes batter!!). If too thick, add milk until right consistency is achieved.
Pour in an 8 inch round cake tin (which you have suitably prepared with baking paper / butter, etc) and bake for over an 1 hour or until a a skewer poked through comes out clean. We like our cake slightly undercooked, so an hour did the trick for us for a perfect almost flan-like centre.
Leave to cool in tin for 10-15 mins, then remove from tin onto a serving plate. Let cool completely (otherwise your buttercream will melt!!).
When the cake is completely cool, start the buttercream. Now, I’m no buttercream expert (far from it, but this turned out ok. Feel free to substitute with your favourite recipe / method!)
Whisk the softened butter until pale and fluffy (really, you need an electric whisk here, unless you’ve got super strong arms and need a workout). Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and whisk some more on LOW speed (or you’ll end up with a fine layer of sugar / cocoa all over your kitchen). At this point it should look nothing like the smooth and shiny stuff you put on a cake and more like a weird and dry mess. Finally, add 1 tbsp of milk and whisk until smooth and shiny. TADA! Magic!
Slather your cake with the buttercream and enjoy 2 of your five-a-day.
Now, the chocolate makes it somewhat rich, which might not be for everyone. But the kid wanted chocolate. So chocolate was added. I think it would work very well with an orange flavour instead, for maybe a more “refined” (grown-up?) version… For that, I would replace the vanilla extract of the cake with the juice of half an orange, and adding some finely grated zest to the cake batter (instead of the chocolate chips). And I would replace the chocolate buttercream with an orange buttercream (orange zest instead of cocoa powder). Decorated with candied peel. Wouldn’t it be yummy? I might have to try that too!
I hope this recipe makes sense. I don’t think I left anything out. If you don’t have almond meal and/or are allergic to it (it’s a nut after all), just use flour instead. I use almond meal to make the cake slightly lighter.
Now, I’m off for a second cuppa and another slice of cake, ha!