Pumpkin Cake

I now declare pumpkin season officially open!

Let’s pumpkin everything! Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin cookies, Pumpkin pie; bring it on! Because pumpkin spice and everything nice, that’s what fall is made of.
Or not. Because I live in Belgium.
We ain’t got pumpkin spice mixes or canned pumpkin over here, and that’s why I spent my weekends peeling and cutting up pumpkins the entire fall. Not that I don’t like it, because there are worse veggies to be cutting, such as onions. And I even dare say there’s a certain art to cutting up these orange spheres of loveliness, but nothing beats creating a good ol’ pumpkin shaped pumpkin cake with pumpkin frosting. I just love making things that are made out of things and filled with things. There’s no holding back in pumpkin season!

Oh I’m definitely not holding back, and neither should you. So start baking already!

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This cake may seem like a lot of work but it’s actually a piece of cake (<- see what I did there?).
The only things you’ll need are the right baking tins, the ingredients, and a pack of orange fondant. I bought my baking tins of 10cm/4 inch diameter at Dille & Kamille (http://www.dille-kamille.nl/nl/shop/c/102/a/5123/tulbandvorm-anti-aanbak-10-cm) and when you put them on top of each other, they form a perfect sphere, doing a pumpkin right.

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The batter is just a regular spiced batter that doesn’t need a lot of time to bake, and the frosting is also just a regular frosting, mainly to keep the fondant in place. Beware of the frosting though. The ingredients really need to be at the same (room)temperature for it curdles quite quickly. And trust me when I tell you this. I’ve already made about a million batches of buttercream, and half of those curdled because of my inability to wait.

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Another potential tricky part of assembling the cake might be putting on the fondant and making sure it doesn’t get damaged during the process.
I rolled out mine pretty thin, so I had to put it over the sphere in one time because once the frosting sticks to the fondant, it kind of melts into it, and when it does and you’re not prepared, you’re doomed. But don’t worry! If you just follow the instructions, you’ll have a lovely little cake to present at your Halloween party. It’ll be yummy and totally fit the theme at the same time.

composition


Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 g (1 & 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 90 g (1/4 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 125 g (3/4 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Buttercream frosting

  • 110 g (4 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 30 g (1/8 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 g (1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Orange and black fondant

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F and butter 4 mini bundt cake tins.
  2. Cake: Mix together butter, sugar, and salt until creamy. Add the eggs one by one, and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder, and then the sour cream and pumpkin puree. Pour the cake batter into the cake tins and bake them for about 25 – 30 minutes. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before taking it out of the tin.
  3. Frosting: Make sure that all ingredients are on room temperature and the room you’re in isn’t too hot. Then just mix the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy, and add the powdered sugar. Again, mix well until creamy.
  4. Construction: Take 2 bundt cakes and smear them all round with buttercream. Place them on top of each other (as shown on the picture), and then place the sphere on a platform that would make it easy for you to top the cake with fondant. For example, I’ve put it on the bottom of a wine glass.
  5. Roll out the fondant and drape it over the cake sphere. Gently streak out any bumps and make sure the fondant is evenly distributed. With the back of a knife, gently carve in the ribs of the pumpkin. Create a stem with the black fondant and put it on top of your bake.
  6. Et voila! You can cut into your very own sweet mini pumpkin.

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Pompoen Cake

Ingrediënten

Cake

  • 113 g ongezouten boter, op kamertemperatuur
  • 200 g kristalsuiker
  • 1/2 tl zout
  • 2 grote eieren
  • 150 g bloem
  • 1 tl kaneel
  • 1/2 tl muskaatnoot
  • 1/2 tl kruidnagel
  • 1 tl bakpoeder
  • 90 g zure room, op kamertemperatuur
  • 125 g pompoenpuree (1 kleine pompen volstaat)
  • 1 tl vanille aroma

Frosting

  • 110 g roomkaas, op kamertemperatuur
  • 30 g ongezouten boter, op kamertemperatuur
  • 100 g bloemsuiker
  • 1/2 tl vanille aroma

Oranje en zwarte rolfondant

Instructies

  1. Verwarm de oven voor op 175°C and vet 4 tulbandvormige kleine cakevormpjes in.
  2. Cake: Mix de boter, suiker, en zout tot een glad geheel. Voeg de eieren 1 voor 1 toe en mix tot een glad geheel. Doe de bloem, kruiden, en bakpoeder bij het beslag, en voeg vervolgens de zure room en pompoenpuree toe. Meng tot alles geïncorporeerd is, en verdeel het beslag in de verschillende cakevormpjes. Bak ze ongeveer 25 – 30 minuten en laat ze 10 minuten afkoelen alvorens de cakejes uit de vormen te halen. Laat ze daarna volledig afkoelen.
  3. Frosting: Zorg ervoor dat alle ingrediënten op dezelfde (kamer)temperatuur zijn, en dat de kamer waarin je de frosting maakt niet te warm is. Mix de roomkaas en boter tot een glad geheel, en voeg er daarna de suiker geleidelijk aan aan toe.
  4. Construction: Neem 2 cakejes en smeer ze volledig in met een (dunne) laag frosting. Zet ze op elkaar, als getoond op de foto’s, and zet de cakebol vervolgens op een verhoogje om de fondant aan te brengen. Ik heb mijn cake bijvoorbeeld op de onderkant van een wijnglas gezet.
  5. Rol de fondant plat en drapeer ze over de cakebol. Strijk eventuele oneffenheden voorzichtig weg en zorg ervoor dat de fondant over heel de bol verdeeld is. Je kan een teveel aan fondant wegsnijden, maar wees voorzichtig dat je ze daardoor niet scheurt. Maak daarna met de achterkant van een mes de inkepingen van de pompoen na en vorm een steeltje met de zwarte rolfondant.
  6. Voila! Klaar om je zoete mini pompoen te presenteren.

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PUMPKIN! Okay that was the very last time I said it. From now on I’ll just start calling it the P-word. Not to be confused with another P-word ofcourse. Oh lord, stop taking over dirty mind!

Sorry not sorry that this cake turned out quite bumpy and the pictures aren’t that nice, but at least I’ve got something to present at Halloween 😉 .

I adapted the original recipe from http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com/2014/10/pumpkin-pound-cake/ and I’m quite certain that this cake is at least as good with the brown butter glaze. So do not hesitate to try this, and let me know ofcourse.
The frosting is from http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/12/08/gingerbread-cupcakes/ and I even added some more pumpkin puree, a tbsp of flour, and spices to the frosting, just to give it that little extra P.

Happy Halloween y’all!

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Crumbly Peach Bars with a Vanilla Glaze

If I were to be a character in some TV-serie or something alike, I would love to be called ‘Peaches‘.
I realize it sounds like a stripper name, but hey, it sounds so smoooth. And than I’d be able to star next to Bubbles Devere in Little Britain! Because when I grow up, that’s who I wanna be.
Kidding. But I do love the name Peaches. And the artist. And princess Peach. And the fruit!

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I don’t care much for raw peach, except for using it as a tool to rub it against my cheeks and feeling the teeny tiny hairs tickling my skin. Yes, I know this may sound kinda freaky but you should try it sometime, and then I’m sure you’ll understand soon enough 😉 .

310715_0049 Peaches are meant to be put in dough, and then baked. Doesn’t matter in what type of dough, whether it be for a cake, or just plain pastry, or bars. They’re just delicious when baked. Their structure and flavor changes, and when its juices blend together with some sugar it’s just proof that nature didn’t give us peaches to eat out of our bare hands, but to bake with them! And maybe make a carpet out of their skins -dodgy comment n°2-.

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So here they are. Crumbly Peach Bars! The bars, and perfect summer treat, we’ve all been waiting for.


Crumbly Peach Bars with a Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients

Crust and topping

  • 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 45 g oats (1/2 cup) -like for making oatmeal-
  • 70 g (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
  • 150 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (cold and cut into chunks)

Peach filling

  • 1 egg
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 peaches (peeled and chopped into cubes)

Vanilla glaze

  • 60 g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp or 10 ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F and line a 20 x 20 cm/8 x 8 inch baking pan with aluminium foil. Grease the inside of the aluminium foil well so the bars don’t stick to it.
  2. Crust/topping: Whisk the flour, oats, and brown sugar together in a whisking bowl. Add the chunks of cold butter and, using 2 knives, cut them into the flour mixture until it forms a crumbly consistency. Place about 1/2 of this mixture in the prepared pan, and set the other half aside to us it as the crumbly topping later on. Place the pan in the oven and bake it for about 15 minutes.
  3. Peach filling: Whisk the egg and sugar together until smooth. Add the flour an the pinch of salt, and again, whisk until combined. Fold in the peaches and give it a good stir. Poor this mixture over the -probably still warm- crust. Sprinkle it royally with the remaining oat mixture, and bake it for 30 – 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let the bars cool off completely in the pan before removing them from it, and cutting them. This could take about 3 hours (unfortunately).
  4. Vanilla glaze: Using a fork, whisk all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Drizzle it all over the bars!

These bars serve about 9 portions, if you slice big pieces, so optionally more, if you slice your pieces a little smaller, obviously. They can be stored for about 2 days when put in the fridge.

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Perzik Crumble Repen met Vanille Glazuur

Ingrediënten

Bodem/crumble

  • 125 g bloem
  • 45 g havermout
  • 70 g bastersuiker (lichtbruine suiker)
  • 150 g ongezouten boter (koud en in grove stukken)

Perzik vulling

  • 1 ei
  • 100 g kristalsuiker
  • 1 el bloem
  • 1/4 tl zout
  • 2 perzikken (gepeld en in stukjes gesneden)

Vanille glazuur

  • 60 g poedersuiker
  • 10 ml melk
  • 1/2 tl vanille aroma

Instructies

  1. verwarm de oven voor op 175°C en bedek de binnenkant van een vierkante bakvorm, van ong. 20 x 20 cm, met aluminium folie. Beboter de aluminiumfolie zodat de repen niet blijven vastplakken aan de folie na het bakken.
  2. Bodem/crumble: Meng de bloem, havermout, en suiker door elkaar, en snij de koude boter door het mengsel met 2 messen tot je een kruimelige consistentie krijgt. Doe de helft van dit mengsel in de bakvorm en zet de andere helft opzij voor de bovenkant van de repen. Duw het mengsel in de bakvorm wat aan, en bak het dan voor ongeveer 15 minuten.
  3. Perzik vulling: Meng het ei en de suiker tot een glad mengsel, en voeg er daarna de bloem en het zout aan toe. Meng dit weer tot het mooi en glad is, en voeg de perzikstukjes toe. Giet dit mengsel over de -waarschijnlijk nog warme- bodem. Bestrooi daarna met het resterende havermoutmengsel en bak het verder voor 30 – 35 minuten, of tot de bovenkant goudbruin is. Laat de repen dan helemaal afkoelen alvorens ze uit de bakvorm te halen en aan te snijden. Dit duurt ongeveer 3 uur, maar ik laat ze voor de veiligheid meestal een nachtje rusten.
  4. Vanille glazuur: voeg alle ingrediënten bij elkaar en meng met een vork tot een zacht en consistent geheel. Besprenkel de koude repen met het glazuur, et voila!

Van dit gebak heb je ongeveer 9 porties als je -net zoals ik- graag grote stukken uitsnijdt, en anders wat meer 🙂 . Je kan ze circa 2 dagen bewaren, liefst in de koelkast.

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I’m sure Bubbles Devere would approve of these bars, so you’ll have to too!
Credit to Sally’s Baking Addiction, because I adapted this recipe from her blog. So here’s the link:
http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/07/20/peaches-cream-bars/

The pictures were taken by me and adapted by my -now travelling- dear brother Jesse.

bubblesforeveryone

Cherry Clafoutis

Omelette du fromage!

These were my very first French words. And even though I like cheesy omelettes, it’s the clafoutis aux cerises I prefer. Doesn’t matter if it’s one with sweet cherries, sour cherries, or just whatever the season has to offer, because the taste of this dessert is always right.
I actually like somewhat of a sour hint in all types of pastry, to contrast with the sweetness and the usual sugar overkill. But I prefer using seasonal fruits to support local farmers, and produce ecologically friendly patisserie, so I just used the plain black Belgian cherry in this clafoutis. Which is one of our seasonal summer fruits. Because I’m a hippie. Not really, but still. Using ingredients that are available anyway, is often the simplest and cheapest choice -for my fellow students- too. So, you know what to do with those big, fat cherries. Eat them, eat them, eat them. Tudududuuduuuduuu.

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Other than a fairly cheap and easy dessert to make – because it makes use of basic ingredients – it’s also one of the only desserts I know that’s supertasty straight out of the oven even if the outside temperature is above 25°C. So this could be a welcome variation in your ice cream-diet during summer months 😉 . I do have to warn you though, for this dessert loses its taste a bit when served cold. But I swear that the suffering in front of your oven in this hot summer weather will be of short notice, and’ll be definitely worth it! Plus, it’s a nice and easy way to show off your baking skills at the many barbecues you’ll be obliged to organize.

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Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • 500 g (3 & 3/4 cups) fresh cherries
  • 90 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2.5 dl (1 cup) milk
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 50 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 180°C/356°F and grease a 25 x 15 cm/11 x 6 inches rectangular baking pan with melted butter. Than remove the stones from the cherries and put them in the baking pan.
  2. Put the flour in a whisking bowl and add the eggs. Beat until it becomes a smooth mixture. Add the sugar, milk, cream and (slightly cooled) butter, and whisk until only just combined.
  3. Pour the batter over the cherries and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes. Remove the clafoutis from the oven, and serve while still hot. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can sprinkle powdered sugar all over your dessert!

This recipe serves 6 – 8 portions and can be stored for about 2 days however, if you heat it up afterwards, it won’t taste as good as when it comes straight out of the oven.

I encourage experimenting, and this recipe allows so many variations. Use, for example, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries. If by any chance you’re making use of cherries or other fruits from a bowl, it’s crucial that you drain them well and maybe use about 700 g instead of 500 g.

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Kersenclafoutis

Ingrediënten

  • 500 g (verse) kersen
  • 90 g bloem
  • 2 eieren, losgeklopt
  • 100 g kristalsuiker
  • 2.5 dl melk
  • 60 ml room
  • 50 g ongezouten boter, gesmolten

Instructies

  1. Verwarm de oven voor op 180°C en vet een ovenschaal van 24 x 15 cm in. Ontpit de kersen en leg ze in de ovenschaal.
  2. Klop de bloem en eieren tot een glad mengsel, en voeg daarna de suiker, melk, room, en boter toe. Klop tot alles net gemengd is, maar niet meer.
  3. Giet het beslag over de kersen en bak de clafoutis in 30 – 40 minuten gaar. Haal het dessert uit de oven en dien het warm op. Voor de zoetekauwen onder ons is het zeker mogelijk om er nog extra poedersuiker over te strooien, net voor het serveren.

Dit recept voorziet circa 6 – 8 personen van een portie en kan ongeveer 2 dagen koel bewaard worden. De clafoutis verliest wel een beetje z’n smaak als ze meermaals wordt heropgewarmd.

Een beetje experimenteren kan ook nooit kwaad, en dus raad ik zeker aan om de kersen in dit recept te vervangen door ander fruit als braambessen, frambozen, bosbessen, e.d. Wanneer je echter gebruik maakt van kersen of andere vruchten uit een bokaal moet je ze wel goed laten uitlekken, en eventueel 700 g gebruiken ipv 500 g!

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I adapted this recipe from Zoete Gerechten by Kay Scarlett, my favorite mini-cookbook.

I want to thank my cat for not eating my dessert while I was shooting, and my brother for developing the pictures!

Bon Appétit!