Baby Bean is Growing

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Saturday, October 07, 2006


It is a GORGEOUS day, and I have already been to the UCI farmer's market where I purchased a dozen organic brown eggs; a loaf of whole wheat Irish bread (don't ask me what makes it Irish, I don't know) which the gentleman said was good for sandwiches -- not as good as the regular Irish bread, but better for you; two pounds of the most beautiful, adorably tiny, and sinfully sweet green raisin grapes I have ever tasted; a little bundle of toothpick-thin late-season asparagus; two yellow squash; an ENORMOUS zucchini; and a very adorably petite butternut squash which, the nice lady with the baby on her hip told me, was picked yesterday.

I may be very excited about this. I think I am going to make a vegetable omlete for lunch.


Several people requested the recipe for the Spicy Pumpkin Cake I took to critique group on Thursday (and which subsequently ended up splattered all over the front seat of my car) and so I deliver.

Spicy Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Chunks
From the Kraft "Food & Family" Fall 2006 magazine:

1 pkg. (2-layer size) spice cake mix
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened, divided
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup thawed Cool Whip
2 Tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, reducing water to 1/2 cup and increasing oil to 1/2 cup. Add half of the cream cheese, the pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Stir in chopped chocolate. Pour into greased 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

Mix remaining cream cheese, whipped topping, and sugar until well blended. Spread on top of cooled cake. Cut into 16 slices.

Lacy's Additional Notes:
I made this cake almost exactly as directed, except that I substituted 1/3 less fat cream cheese and fat free Cool Whip. I baked the cake for more than an hour, and it still came out rather more gooey than I would have liked.

Making it a second time, I might reduce the oil to the 1/3 cup called for on the cake mix box. I imagine you could reduce it even more if you added the entire can of pumpkin puree. Also, I think that using egg beaters instead of the regular eggs (called for on the cake mix, and not listed in this recipe) would have worked just as well. Also, it would have been just as good (maybe better) without the chocolate. I like the combination of dark chocolate and pumpkin, but this cake was already so dense, I think it could have done without the added richness.

The recipe also notes that you can use yellow cake mix in place of the spice cake mix if you prefer, but I thought the spice cake mix gave it a lovely pumpkin pie-type flavor.

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