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Pumpkin Cake Recipe & Video

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Fall brings cooler days which means we can start baking again. One cake I particularly enjoy is this honey colored Pumpkin Cake with its shiny chocolate glaze. This cake is full of flavor and keeps fresh for days, thanks to the pumpkin puree and oil. The chocolate glaze is really a Ganache which is a delicious mixture of semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate and cream. I like to make this Pumpkin Cake the day before serving, so the flavors of the cake and chocolate glaze have time to soften and mingle.

This recipe uses a bundt pan, which has a unique ring shape. It is a fancy tube pan created in 1950 by an American, H. David Dalquist. The story goes that a group of Minneapolis women wanted a better pan for baking their bundkuchen. They went to Dalquist's company, Northland Aluminum Products, with their problem and he created a ring shaped tube pan with fluted sides made from cast aluminum. He named the pan "bundt" (by adding the letter 't' to the word "bund" which is German for "gathering"). The beauty of this pan is that the inner tube conducts the heat into the center of the batter so it cooks evenly, which is especially good for heavy cake batters. If using a dark colored bundt pan, reduce the oven temperature 25 F (15 C) as dark colored pans absorb more of the energy coming from the oven walls.

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite Canadian cookbook authors, Susan Mendelson. Her book, 'Still Nuts About Chocolate' was published in 1992 and it is just full of delicious chocolate recipes. Everything from sauces to cookies, cakes, pies, candy, and puddings. Now, a few notes on ingredients for this Pumpkin Cake. One ingredient called for in this recipe, that you may not be familiar with, is wheat bran. It adds a mild earthy taste and coarse flaky texture to this cake. Wheat Bran is the outer layer (shell) of the wheat kernel and even when ground it is not considered a flour but a fiber. Wheat bran can be found in most grocery stores (on the baking isle or in the organic section) or else in health food stores or on line.

I admit that I normally use canned pumpkin puree in this recipe, as I find it almost as good as fresh. But if you want to make your own puree, use the smaller pumpkin varieties like Sugar Pie, Baby Bear, or Cheese Pumpkin (approximately 5-7 lbs., 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 kg.). To make the puree, first cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy fibers, and then place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours (depending on size) or until easily pierced with a knife. Then scoop out the pulp and puree in a food processor until smooth. To extract all the liquid, strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer. Cool the puree before using. You will need 2 cups (480 ml) for this pumpkin cake.

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Pumpkin Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 10 inch (25 cm) bundt pan. 

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and sugar until well combined and thick (about 2 minutes). Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin batter and beat until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cake from the pan. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Glaze: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the butter and cream in a small saucepan, just until it starts to boil. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit a minute or two and then gently stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature to pouring consistency. Then pour the glaze over the top of the cooled bundt cake, letting the glaze flow down the sides. This cake can be stored for several days at room temperature or in the refrigerator. The cake can also be frozen. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Makes one - 10 inch (25 cm) bundt cake.

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Pumpkin Cake:

4 large eggs (200 grams out of shell), at room temperature

1 cup (240 ml/grams) flavorless oil (vegetable, canola, corn, or safflower oil)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar

1-15 ounce can (2 cups) (425 grams) pure pumpkin puree

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1 cup (50 grams) wheat bran

2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) fine kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup (170 grams) dark chocolate chips (semi sweet or bittersweet)

Chocolate Glaze:

4 ounces (115 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon (13 grams) butter, diced

1/3 cup (80 ml/grams) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

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