Pumpkin and chocolate chips and wheat flour cake…if you recited this combination a few years back I would roll my eyes and walk away. Not anymore. Yes, its not only possible but it’s a tasty and very happy possibility.
I am always trying to be one up on my teenager, getting him to taste and try out different combinations, sneaking in greens and veges trying to blend them into the background, so this was one more attempt at cheating. By now he is resigned to his fate and my eccentric ways, but I love the way he feigns surprise and awe when I reveal the monster in our midst.
Pumpkin soup is a fabulous pre-dinner snack with a dash of cream and loads of lemon squirted in, but a pumpkin cake? He couldn’t guess it, it was so good and chocolate chips are a fabulous addition to this spicy, sweet, delicate cake that has a luxurious texture and is a great accompaniment to a cup of tea or a treat in the sandwich box.
The recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and I have made a few nicks and cuts (if you know me by now, you aren’t surprised J). I have added wheat flour and made fresh pumpkin puree. The pumpkin puree should be like a potato mash and not runny. Don’t overdo the spices. Nutmeg when just right can lend a subtle flavour but a generous dose of it leaves a bitter after taste. The same goes for cinnamon.
Initially I thought of adding raisins but the chocolate chips were too tempting and I couldn’t resist the tiny mountains of pure luxury and gooeyness. I also used honey for some part of the sugar and as a result there was a “puddingish stickiness” to the cake, which is already finger licking good.
The pumpkin is not obvious but its sweet fruitiness adds flavour and depth to the cake. It lends a beautiful orange hue to the cake. With chocolate chips, cinnamon, honey on your side, I recommend that you cheat all you want and no one will be any wiser!!
Pumpkin & Chocolate Chip Loaf
120grms Whole wheat flour
100 grms all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
150 grms honey
80 grms brown sugar
300 grms pumpkin puree
80 ml melted butter ( you can use sunflower/canola oil)
1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice
Grated rind of one orange
100 grms semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350F) degrees. Grease 9×5 inch loaf pan or 2 6×2 inch pans.
- Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt and the spice powders. Add the orange rind to the the mixture, mix all the dry ingredients well and keep them aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, brown sugar together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, melted ]] butter and orange juice. Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes ( for a big loaf) and 40 minutes for 2 smaller ones. When done the cake will be firm to touch, cracked on the top and a skewer inserted in the centre wll be clean with only a few small moist crumbs. If the top browns too fast cover it lightly with a piece of aluminum foil.
- Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing and slicing.
For the Pumpkin Puree:
350 grms pumpkin will yield 300 grms puree.
Peel and chop the pumpkin into dice sized cubes. Put it in a steal container or box with a tight lid and pressure cook for 15-20 mins. Alternatively. You can cook it with a cup of water on low heat till soft and squashy and the till the water dries out. Smash it to a smooth paste and use.