A week last Sunday was Pudsey and West Leeds’ Clandestine Cake Club event. The theme was Harvest Time and it was a great opportunity to bake with fruits or vegetables which are abundant at this time of year. I don’t have green fingers or the space to grow vegetables in my garden though it’s something I would love to be able to do if I had a bigger back garden. Instead I used a tin of Libby’s Pureed Pumpkin which had been in my cupboard for a few months. My friend Linda had bought me a couple of tins when she was out shopping in Waitrose for herself and I thought a Pumpkin Bundt cake would be perfect for cake club.
I keep telling myself I have enough Nordicware Bundt pans. I’ve lost count of how many I have. Then again, I see a new one or one I’ve coveted for a while and I think !I just have to have that! On my day off from work I went over to TKMaxx thinking I could do with a couple of nice cake boxes and ended up coming out with the cake boxes, a mini chopper, some Christmas cupcake cases and the Nordicware Kugelhopf pan. Did I need it? Did I heck? But it’s a beautiful pan and will last forever. Being as it’s a traditional design it will get used all year round, too!
My baking inspiration came from a Bundt recipe book bought a few months back. It’s a Nordicware publication entitled “Best Of The Bundt” and I was very impressed with the quality of the recipes. Even though it’s an American publication with measurements in cups, etc. thankfully there are metric equivalents given as well.
Last Sunday morning I started on the Pumpkin Cake with a Ginger Cream Filling. The bundt contains a filling of cream cheese, ginger, sugar and flour which is baked into the middle of the cake. The cake itself was a delicately spiced pumpkin bundt infused with cardamom and cinnamon and then flavoured with buttermilk. It sounded too mouthwatering for words and perfect for an Autumn cakey gathering.
I’d left it a bit late to start on the baking. Normally I bake my cake the day before but we were out and about, so I ran out of time. So last Sunday morning it was. I greased and floured the Kugelhopf pan which is quite a narrow and tall tin. I hoped this wouldn’t affect the bake. I reckoned I would have to stick the tin onto a flat baking tray so it wouldn’t tip over in the oven.
First I opened up the tin of pumpkin puree and reserved 2 tablespoonfuls of the puree towards the frosting. The rest was going into the cake itself. In a large bowl I creamed together butter and sugar. As I weighed out the sugar I couldn’t believe how much was going into the cake. Then into the bowl went 4 large eggs, followed by the pumpkin puree. This got mixed well together. In another bowl I sifted together some dry ingredients which included some plain flour, ground cardamom, cinnamon and baking powder. Then, I measured out some buttermilk. The dry ingredients and the buttermilk got folded into the creamed mixture bit by bit until I ended up with a delicious and aromatic mix.
Then it was time to make up the ginger cream filling. I’d bought a large tub of full fat Philadelphia cheese especially for the cake. I was really angry when I got the tub out of the fridge and found it had been opened! Mr SmartCookieSam must’ve nicked some to go on his crackers! It can’t have been my daughter, the other cheese lover in our house as she has been at uni for the past month! About 2 tbsp had gone which wasn’t much but it meant I didn’t have enough for the frosting. I hoped it wouldn’t spoil it but I wasn’t going to make a fuss over 2 tbsp of cream cheese!
The cream cheese, ground ginger, light brown sugar and 2 tbsp of plain flour all got mixed together to make the ginger cream filling. I then started to fill the cake tin, starting with 2/3 of the pumpkin mixture. I followed that with the ginger cream cheese mixture, taking care that it wouldn’t get mixed in with the pumpkin flavour or to touch the sides of the pan. Finally, I finished off the cake with the remaining pumpkin mixture.
The bundt was meant to be baked for 65 to 70 minutes but after this time it still felt like the cake wasn’t cooked. I tested it with a skewer but there was still soggy mixture stuck to it in about three places. After about 80 minutes the cake looked like it had cracked on the top and was ready to come out of the oven. I had to give it about 10 minutes before I was able to turn it out onto a wire rack. I always panic at this point. This is when all your hard work can be undone in seconds if the cake won’t come out of the tin or it comes out in several pieces. Thankfully the cake slid out in one piece which made me feel so relieved. Usually I find if the cake is meant for a special occasion or for cake club it turns into a disaster area!
While the cake was cooling down I had to make a glaze cum frosting for the top of the cake. I whipped cream, icing sugar and a little bit of milk together to form the frosting. To this I added finely chopped pecans. The frosting was then piped onto the top of the bundt with my large star nozzle. To finish off I added whole pecans to decorate the top.
When I cut the cake at cake club later that afternoon I was bitterly disappointed. Despite the cake being in the oven longer than needed and presumably I did stick it in at the right temperature, it came out looking like the middle was uncooked. I thought it looked disgusting inside but it still got eaten.
Would I bake the cake again? I’d like to try it out again but will have to watch the baking time and the oven temperature.
Love Sam xx