We sure haven't had much of a summer...weatherwise, and today felt like fall is just around the corner. I'm not complaining, but feel really badly how hot it's been from the Midwest to the east coast with temperatures in the triple digits in a lot of areas. Our weather here in the Pacific Northwest was a definite influence in my decision to combine chocolate with Pumpkin! to create this unusual dessert.
Pumpkins have been around for thousands of years, with the earliest seeds showing up in Mexico. The word pumpkin was adapted by American colonists from the British word pumpion, which came from the Greek word pepon meaning large melon. The orange color comes from the pigments in the skin and the main nutrients of pumpkins are lutein and loaded with both alpha and beta carotene--the later generates Vitamin A in the body.
Chocolate has been around for at least three millenia in Mexico. It is easily one of the most popular flavors known throughout the world. Valentine's Day is devoted to chocolate as one of the special gifts given. Chocolate contains alkaloids, which have physiological effects on the body and it's been linked to serotonin in the brain. Dark chocolate has been singled out with positive effects on cholesterol and in moderation, some studies say it can lower blood pressure.
The other influence of this cake is definitely my girls--Erin loves chocolate, just like my mother, and will choose that flavor 99% of the time over anything else. Kelly, on the other hand, loved pumpkin, just like my husband, and asked for pumpkin pie for her birthday each year. Combining these two flavors may sound a little crazy, but I assure you, it works.
This is my 300th post!!
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with a White Chocolate Glaze
16 T (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 cup + 2 T high quality cocoa
1 T baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cardamon
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven 350F-degrees. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between the additions.
In a medium bowl, measure out the pumpkin puree and blend it together with the buttermilk. Set aside.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients alternating with the pumpkin/buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Once all the ingredients have been added, mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
Spoon batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (or you can lightly touch with your finger tips and it springs back).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. When completely cooled, pour glaze over top. To add some color, I added some lime green Deco Drops for contrast.
White Chocolate Glaze:
3 oz. white chocolate, melted
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 T light Karo syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 T milk
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Blend the melted chocolate with the confectioners' sugar, adding the syrup, vanilla, and milk. Add enough milk to make a pourable glaze.
After tasting the cake, I was thinking this recipe would be great as a cupcake with a cream cheese icing as well. This incredibly moist cake, rich in flavor has a special place in my heart, thinking of my daughters and wishing they were both here to enjoy the combination. Enjoy!