3.31.2014

Pumpkin-Clove Pound Cake


"The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others." - Albert Schweitzer

What a day! I had about a 10 hour work day, then came home to keep on with furnishing and decorating. My parents came over and helped us install a curtain rod in the bedroom, a giant shower caddy, and also helped decorate the apartment. There are now little arrangements on the staircase bookshelves, table centerpieces for the dining table and the coffee table, accents on the living room bookshelf, and extra cute decorations here and there throughout the new place. It's really coming along and starting to feel like home, and not just a house. The cat and the dog are also loving the apartment. They're claiming their designated napping spots, and the living room is strewn with all of their toys. My place is feeling more and more home-y everyday, and I wouldn't have it any other way! To celebrate my moving in and my parents coming over, I decided to make this absolutely delicious pound cake. It has a nice pumpkin taste without it being overpowering, and let me tell you: the entire apartment smelled like Fall and spices while the cake was baking. It smelled like Autumn is supposed to smell, with cloves and allspice wafting through the air vents, and hints of pumpkin (reminiscent of pumpkin pie) peeking through. This cake has just enough pumpkin in it that allows this cake to be a star year-round, with or without decorating. A was pleased, and my parents were also extremely satisfied by this cake. It'll impress everyone, so I'll definitely be making this cake again very soon, for my friends and co-workers next time around. You can count on it!


Pumpkin-Clove Pound Cake
adapted from: CakeLove: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch by Warren Brown

*makes: one 12-cup Bundt cake*

"I originally baked this cake for my friend Chris who wanted something for Thanksgiving. We went to law school together and both had a blast in the law-school follies, where we mocked our law-student lifestyles - it wasn't all studying, but there sure was a lot of it. He inspired me by taking a sabbatical from practicing law to develop his passion for theater and acting. He's the first person I knew who proved that leaving the law was possible.

The one thing I wanted out of a pumpkin cake was to avoid the oily mess that is so common with pumpkin breads and muffins. Using butter instead of oil and cutting back on the liquid ingredients to accommodate the heavy, super-moist canned pumpkin did the trick. Still, this is a very wet, heavy batter so aerating the cake well during creaming is extremely important. This recipe also produces a lot of batter so you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl more frequently than in other recipes to be sure the batter is well mixed. The testing skewer will remain very wet up to the moment the cake is ready to be removed from the oven, so watch it carefully.

This cake is not only a seasonal favorite at CakeLove, but also one of the most popular year-round."

Ingredients:
14 oz unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground allspice
15 oz 100% pure canned pumpkin
5 tbsp ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp spiced rum
1 tbsp clover honey
1 tbsp "Crush" pure vanilla bean extract
6 oz sweet unsalted butter
21 oz extra fine granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks

Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Set the rack in the middle of the oven.
2) Set out the ingredients and equipment.
- Sift the flour directly into a bowl on a scale for accurate measuring.
- Measure the other dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, and whisk for 10 seconds to blend. Set aside.
- Measure the liquid ingredients into a separate bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside.
- Measure the butter and sugar into separate bowls and set aside.
- Crack the eggs and yolks into two separate bowls and set aside.
3) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on the lowest speed for 3 minutes.
4) With the mixer still on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time followed by the yolks, fully incorporating after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.
5) Add the dry ingredient mixture alternately with the liquid mixture in 3 to 5 additions each, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Move swiftly through this step to avoid overworking the batter. Don't wait for the dry or liquid mixtures to be fully incorporated before adding the next. This step should take a total of about 60 seconds.
6) Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl all the way down. Don't miss the clumps of ingredients hiding on the bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds to develop the batter's structure.
7) Prepare the pan. Spray the pan well with a nonstick spray.
8) Fill the pan about three-quarters full by depositing the batter with the rubber spatula in small clumps around the prepared pan instead of by pouring it into one spot. Level the batter with the rubber spatula.
9) Bake for approximately 40-55 minutes.
10) Once the top of the cake doesn't jiggle in the center and the color is an even, deep orange, test for doneness by inserting a bamboo skewer in the center of the cake. When the skewer shows just a touch of crumbs or comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heat-resistant surface or wire rack.
11) Once the cake has cooled for 5 to 10 minutes, remove the cake by inverting the pan onto a flat surface.
12) Store under a cake dome at room temperature, or wrapped in plastic in the fridge for up to 1 week. To store longer, label, date, and store the plastic-wrapped cake in the freezer for up to 1 month.



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