Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake

Well I guess my posting schedule has changed, instead of Monday I will now be posting on Tuesday of every week.  Life does seem to be about a long series of changes these days.

Anyhow, I was looking for something with pumpkin and full of spices for the season and I came across this recipe.  For some reason I see a lot of pumpkin bread out there but not much in the way of cakes.

This cake does have a lot of flavor to offer.  The mellow spicy pumpkin batter does make for a great cake, but the wonderful add ins of chocolate and pecans move it up to a tastier rank.  Also, what better to slather it with than a dark cocoa frosting?

Should you decide to make this, please be sure all your guests get their own piece.  Otherwise, you will find out months later someone felt cheated because they shared their piece. I am sure a lot of you have had this experience. However, the fact does remain that if they are still thinking about it months later, the taste must have been well worth remembering.

Please note that I did not use the frosting recipe below, instead I used the recipe on the back of  the Nestle Dark Cocoa can, which eliminated the need to melt unsweetened chocolate.

Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake
adapted from John Down at Christopher Norman Chocolates

3 eggs
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups or 2 1/2 sticks of softened butter (more for greasing pans)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1.2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet choc chips
10 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to room temp
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 2 nine inch round cake pans by brushing the interior with melted butter.  Place a liner of parchment in the bottom and butter the face up side.  Then dust the parchment with flour.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg into a large bowl.

Using a mixer, cream together 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter and the granulated sugar until it has a fluffy consistency.  This should take about 3 minutes at medium speed. Add one egg and beat for 30 seconds.  Repeat this process with each of the remaining eggs.

Mix in the pumpkin puree to the batter with a wooden spoon.  It will have a slightly curdled look.  Then fold in the sifted ingredients in half cup intervals.  Once the mixture is smooth and has no dry streaks, stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.

Pour half of the batter into each of the pans.  Place in oven and bake until tester comes out clean, which is about 35 minutes.  Remove and let cakes cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges and invert cakes onto rack.  Discard parchment paper and let cakes cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, beat the remaining butter in a medium size bowl until fluffy.  Then add the confectioners sugar a 1/2 cup at a time, beating for 30 seconds.  Repeat that process until all confectioners sugar is blended into the butter.   Pour in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract and  beat until frosting is smooth.

Frost cake by frosting top of bottom layer.  Then stack with other layer and frost top and sides.
                           **LAST YEAR: Hawaiian Zephyr Cupcakes**