Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I think I may have killed my son’s fish.
Not on purpose; I wasn’t standing over the fish bowl with a hook and line, but rather by neglect. As we ‘speak’ Winnie the Pooh (the orange gold fish, not the bear) is floating around on his side, occasionally giving a half-hearted kick but mainly just floating like an astronaut in space. It appears his time with us is running out.
Tonight, when I found poor Winnie (again the fish, not Mandela) it dawned on me that he may be suffering from starvation (can that happen to a goldfish?). You see a couple of weeks ago I asked 3 year old S to feed the gold fish in the pond. Apparently he thought the fish were hungry and tipped the entire jar of fish food in. In an effort to save the fish from having to embark on the ‘Biggest Loser Seafood Edition’ I got the out my kitchen sieve and scooped out the mass amount of fish food from the pond. Of course this meant that we were out of fish food and whilst the pond fish may have eaten enough to last ’til Christmas, the bowl fish were not so lucky. It meant that I should probably have bought more fish food… which I forgot to do. Mind you, it’s not just fish food in have forgotten in my post-partum mind melt state. We were without toilet paper briefly and ran dangerously low on detergent (not great when you have a baby and a basket full of dirty nappies).
Now in my defence, Collingwood is doing fine (the 2nd bowl fish not the football team; they’re not doing too well) and appears to have had no side effects from his hunger so maybe it wasn’t my fault. The fish are at least 3 years old which seems ancient for a pet we brought home in a plastic bag. Maybe Winnie the Pooh was just old and is dying from natural causes. I guess I’ll just have to wait now until the morning to see if he is still doing side stroke, or worse – backstroke.
In a vain attempt to rehabilitate the flailing fish we got some fish food and have been continually feeding them. The husband even scooped up poor Winnie the Pooh so he could get close enough to the food to eat some. We both, however, draw the line at mouth to mouth.
Now we wait and see.
Cooking this Pumpkin Spice Cake is a bit like waiting for Winne the Pooh to decide if he’s going to die; it takes ages (ok, that was a bit disrespectful). I first saw this baking technique when Not Quite Nigella made a Super Moist Banana Cake which she had gotten from Happy Hooligans. They described the Banana Cake as being super moist, very soft and so simple to make. I decided I had to have it so I redid the recipe to suit me and my funny tummy needs. Also, I was intrigued by the strange baking method. I made my modified Banana Cake and then had a light bulb moment… Pumpkin Spice!!
The genius behind making this Pumpkin Spice Cake (and it’s Banana cousin) is the incredibly long cooking time coupled with time spent in the freezer. These two actions prevent the cake from drying out and make it way too easy to eat. One of my friends described it as like a baked custard; smooth and easy to eat. This Pumpkin Spice Cake is made with home made Pumpkin Puree (to find out how to make it yourself click here) and yes you can use canned Pumpkin as long as it’s not too watery. When you make your own puree make sure you drain any excess water from the puree. I have listed 5 spices to add to the cake but if you live in the US you can add 4 1/2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Spice Mix instead (you can make your own Pumpkin Spice Mix using this recipe).
I have topped the Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting; a coconut cream based frosting. I love how it tastes with Pumpkin (I also used it on this Pumpkin Cake) and it’s easy to make. If you make the frosting when the cake is in the oven and pop it in the fridge when it will have firmed up enough to hold its shape well on top of the cake.
I really really love the way this Pumpkin Spice Cake and it’s cousin Banana Cake turned out. So much so that I’ve also made a Carrot version (coming soon) and 2 Gingerbread versions for my Christmas Cook Book (to be re-released for 2015 with lots of new recipes in November). And I’ve even eaten it for breakfast on busy mornings!
- 1 1/4 Cup mashed Pupkin - measured after mashing (to make: place pumpkin in a moderate oven for 50 minutes or until soft. Mash once cooled)
- 3 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/4 Cup Arrowroot
- 3/4 Cup Almond Meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Bicarb
- Dash of Salt
- 1 1/8 teaspoons Ginger
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
- Dash ground Cloves
- 1 1/2 Cups (minus 1 Tablesoon)Milk (of choice)
- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- 1 400ml Can Coconut Cream, refrigerated overnight with the thick cream removed and the watery part discarded
- 2-4 Tablespoons Honey
- Preheat the oven to 140C/285F. Line and grease a 18cm or 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin
- Place the eggs in the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer and beat for 5 minutes, or until fluffy.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and beat on high until smooth.
- Mash/purée the pumpkin and add to the mixture, beating on high.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the milk to the vinegar and stir until combined.
- Add the milk and dry ingredients alternatively, starting/ending with the milk.
- Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour, 50 minutes to 2 hours or until cooked through. The cake will be very moist.
- Immediately put the cake in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Remove and keep at room temperature until cooled completely and remove from the tin.
- Frost with Honey Frosting and dust with Cinnamon.
- The cake will become denser as it ages. Store in the fridge.
- Place thickened cream into the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high until thickened.
- Add the honey, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired taste is reached.
- Place cream in the fridge to thicken before spreading over the cake.