Friday, October 29, 2010

Spicy Pumpkin Cake

LOVE this recipe! For those who went to Stephanie's baby shower, this is the cake Beth made, in the shape of a pumpkin. I made it in my Bundt mold with no frosting and thought it was so tasty; doesn't even need frosting. It's from Demarle's "Cooking Light Every Night" cookbook.

- 6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped. (I used Ghiradelli, and I'm sure you could use chocolate chips, but I followed the directions given)
- 1 package spice cake mix, plus ingredients to make cake (I like Duncan Hines)
- 1/2 cup oil (I used 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup oil instead - still great!)
- 1 8oz package low fat cream cheese, softened to room temp.
- 1 cup canned pumpkin*
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon*
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger*
- 1/2 cup low fat Cool Whip (for frosting)
- 2 tbsp sugar (for frosting)

*I used canned pumpkin pie filling (it includes the spices), so I didn't add the cinnamon & ginger...a cheater version I guess. But either way is really good. I couldn't tell a difference between the two.

Preheat oven to 340. Place the flexipan mold of choice (recommend Bundt Mold or Sunflower Mold) on the perforated baking sheet and set aside. Coarsely chop the baking chocolate using  Chef's knife and set aside. In mixing bowl, prepare cake mix as directed on box, reducing water to 1/2 cup and increasing oil to 1/2 cup (or substitute part applesauce for oil). Add half of softened cream cheese, pumpkin and spices to cake mix. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Stir in chopped chocolate. Pour mixture into mold. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Mix remaining cream cheese, Cool Whip & sugar until well blended. Spread on top of cooled cake with spatula. (NOTE: Beth just used a can of frosting on hers and colored using food color, she said the whipped topping wasn't a good consistency for the cake).
I also only used about 3/4 of the batter for my bundt mold, then divided the rest into a flower tray, that one cooked for about 18 minutes. Then, I had 6 little flowers plus a whole bundt cake -  makes a lot!

Sweet Pumpkin Seeds

Not sure what to do with all those slimy seeds you fished out of your pumpkins this year? Try this yummy treat!

You will need:
• 4 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
• 1/2 cup margarine, melted
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup white sugar, divided

**I barely had 2 cups of seeds, so I halved this recipe and would use maybe even less butter than it calls for. It takes a while to cook it out. But they taste so good!

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Combine the pumpkin seeds, margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl; stir to coat the seeds. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the flexipat (placed on the perforated baking sheet), or silpat but don't go to the edge.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 7 minutes; stir and return to oven for 7 minutes more; remove from oven and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the seeds; stir to coat. Return to oven and bake another 7 minutes before removing again to sprinkle with remaining sugar and stirring. Then keep checking every 7 minutes, but it takes a while. You don't want them to be greasy. They will start to dry out, about maybe 30 minutes after adding the sugar. Allow to cool before serving. Store leftover seeds in an airtight container.