Friday, October 9, 2009

dn's Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

Here in Canada, the second Monday of every October is Thanksgiving. I decided that I wanted to make something a little different for a holiday dessert this year, so hit the web in search of a pumpkin dessert.

After browsing for a bit, I came across a recipe on Taste Of Home that looked promising. It was for a Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake. The recipe was simple, yet would yield a delicious cake that was fit to grace any dessert tray!

As with all of my recipes, I made a few adjustments. Rather than using all white flour as indicated, I used some whole wheat as well as the all purpose. The original recipe used only cinnamon for spice which I thought seemed a little boring and odd with pumpkin, so I added cloves and nutmeg as well. While I was measuring ingredients, I noticed that there wasn't any salt in the recipe, so I added 1/2 teaspoon.

The other major changes that I made was the pumpkin and the nuts.

I have always used cooked squash rather than buying canned pumpkin. I prefer butternut or hubbard squash as they have a nice rich colour and are not overly watery like some varieties. Once the spices are added, you really can't tell the difference between pumpkin and squash.

I used almonds rather than pecans. Either would be good in this recipe, so use your nut of choice. The recipe, said to divide the nuts and sprinkle 1/2 cup in the bottom of the greased bundt pan before adding batter then sprinkle the rest on top after all the batter is in. That may be a good idea in theory, but once the cake is baked and turned out on to cooling racks, most of the nuts tend to fall off. I would recommend adding the nuts directly to the batter with the chocolate chips.

dn's Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin OR 2 cups cooked pumpkin or squash
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds or pecans
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices; add to the creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Divide batter in half. Stir melted chocolate into one portion. In a well-greased 10-in. fluted tube pan, spoon chocolate batter evenly over the bottom; top with pumpkin batter and carefully spread evenly.

Bake at 325° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 16 servings.

- I found the cake took about 75 minutes to bake to clean toothpick stage, but every oven is different so test the cake at 65 minutes.
- If you would like to garnish this cake, I would suggest melting 1 - 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate and drizzling it over the cake after it has cooled for an hour or so on a wire rack. You could also sprinkle more finely chopped nuts over the chocolate before it hardens. Less chance of the nuts falling off!!!

This is a moist, flavourful cake that is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any gathering!


Happy Thanksgiving!!


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