When this month's We Should Cocoa was announced by the Hungry Hinny (who is guest hosting for Choclette of Choc Log Blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot) as pumpkin, my mind immediately jumped to the recipe I wanted to use - Dan Lepard's Pumpkin Chocolate Mud Cake. And then I remembered I had already made and blogged this one - find it here. (And very good it was too).
Luckily the random collection of cells that passes for my brain recalled another pumpkin cake by Dan Lepard which I thought would be appropriate to adapt for this challenge. Originally published three years ago as a Hallowe'en treat, you can find the original recipe here on the Guardian website, but I made a number of changes to make it suitable for this challenge and to suit my ingredients and allergies...
Ginger Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream icing
4 lumps of ginger in syrup, drained of the syrup
175g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
150g pumpkin, grated
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
100g plain chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
1/2 tsp ginger extract (optional, but I used it!)
For the buttercream
100g softened butter
250g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
splash of recently boiled water
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Line 18 muffin holes with cases - I used a Hallowe'en variety pack - black, orange and spider, plus a couple of yellow ones I found in the baking cupboard.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Fold in the pumpkin, ginger extract and chopped stem ginger, then the flour and spices.
I promise there was squash in there...
- Allow to cool.
- Make the buttercream by creaming the butter until very soft. Add half of the icing sugar and start beating slowly to incorporate. Add the rest of the icing sugar and the vanilla and continue to beat until very light in colour and fluffy. I add a little water from a recently boiled kettle to let the mixture down a bit and make it softer to pipe. Some people use milk - I have found that cold milk sometimes makes the mixture split.
I was a little ambivalent about these, although my colleagues really liked them. I loved the stem ginger in the cake and the chunks of chocolate (chocolate and ginger being my two favourite flavours of the moment) and the cake itself was lovely and moist and tender. You couldn't taste the pumpkin, but there was a slight pumpkin-y aroma when the cake tin was opened. It contributed much more to moistness than flavour. I'm not sure the vanilla buttercream was the right complement to the cake, but it was delicious in its own right! I think I was looking for a more intense hit of ginger throughout the cake, but actually, these were great anyway.
As these contain a rather seasonal ingredient, I am sending them to Simple and in Season, also hosted by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen and founded by Ren of Fabulicious Food.
I am also sending them to One Ingredient, hosted this month by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen and co-hosted by Laura of How to Cook Good Food.
And last but not least, of course these are heading to We Should Cocoa!