Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Pumpkins still

I had another pumpkin themed day again today. I still had a bit more than a pound of pumpkin left over from the large one I cut into last Friday and to that I had added a bit whilst making the bird feeder on Sunday. There was only one slice of the pumpkin and ginger tea bread left in the cake box, my husband having declared it the best cake I had ever made (wow, now that's a complement!). So, having stocked up on ingredients I set about making pumpkin and orange tray bake this morning to refill the box. This proved a deliciously moist and fruity cake which my daughter declared the best cake I had ever made (not quite such a complement as she is only 7 and says "best ever" at the drop of a hat!).

Pumpkin & orange tray bake

200g butter , melted
4 eggs , beaten
zest & juice of 1 orange
300g self-raising flour
300g light muscovado sugar
3 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g sultanas
½ tsp salt
500g (peeled weight) pumpkin, grated

200g pack soft cheese
100g icing sugar , sifted
zest & juice of 1 orange

Heat oven to 180°C, gas 4. Butter and line a 25 x 25cm square tin. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice, then mix with the dry ingredients till combined. Stir in the pumpkin. Pour into the tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. Cool for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Whilst still warm, prick it all over with a skewer and drizzle with the orange juice from the second orange, retaining 1 tablespoon of juice for the icing. Leave to cool completely. To make the frosting, beat together the cheese, icing sugar, orange zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice till smooth and creamy. Add a little cornflour to stiffen if necessary. When the cake is cool, spread the frosting over the top of the cake in peaks and swirls. Store the cake in the fridge but return to room temperature to serve.

With the cake still warm and the smell of delicious home baking filling the house, I dashed off to gardening club where the theme was... you guessed it... pumpkins! We had managed to grow one little pumpkin which this afternoon we turned into two bird feeders. I also took one large pumpkin in from home and showed them how to make a pumpkin lantern and we baked pumpkin muffins so that they realised that pumpkins can be eaten too! A packed afternoon but a lot of fun for all.

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