Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Walnut Caramel Filling - Deconstructing the Best Cake Ever.

Sometimes I make recipes up as I go. Usually I'll pull together different pieces from other recipes and hope it works out. This one worked out and it was a winner. I have got to get these details down so I don't forget what I did to make the Best Cake Ever.

 Here it is. The cake the changed my life. Thank you for the dryer, Cake!

Normally I won't eat cake unless it's chocolate. Sure I love gingerbread pudding cake sometimes. Or strawberry. Or Lemon. Sometimes. But I just don't care unless it's chocolate. But my husband doesn't love chocolate the way I do so I decided to make him the perfect cake. Just for him.

I started with my favorite Pumpkin Spice Cake. The secret really is the applesauce. But instead of making a sheet cake I used two round cake pans. This recipe fit perfectly.

The base cake was a pumpkin spice. It is very moist. Yes I cooked down the pumpkin for it.

Next, I needed a filling. I do not like nuts in cake. But my husband does so I thought a caramel-nut filling would be perfect. You probably remember that I'm not great with caramel - it's dangerous and I almost always am this close to burning the house down. However, this sauce one was very easy. It bubbled up but nothing like "real" caramel. This sauce also did not seize up like all my other failed caramel sauces. You can easily eat the rest of it right out of the jar from the fridge. For breakfast.

Then, I really wanted a special frosting. I do love cream cheese frosting. This recipe was a nice basic one. The only thing I don't like about cream cheese frosting is the cream cheese. I think the store cream cheese tastes like plastic. I know it's a little pretentious... but I made the cream cheese. Yes I did.

Making cream cheese is actually really easy. I used this recipe for mascarpone. Made this way it's basically the same as cream cheese. Pretty much you just heat cream to about 190*, stir in lemon juice, let it set up, then strain in the fridge for a day or so. Totally easy and it doesn't taste like plastic. I did, however, have to plan this so that the cream cheese was ready when the cake making day was here.

Brush the cake with booze? Sure!

I also made the butter - which is also super easy. Why? Why not. I always think it's weird when people recoil in horror at the thought of me doing work when I can just go and buy that thing. I just kinda like doing my own thing. Plus, homemade butter is a far superior product. It just is.

Making and assembling the cake was easy. It looks like a lot of steps but not really:

* I made sure I had plenty of butter- and that the mascarpone was ready.
* I cooked down a pumpkin a couple days before and then went the extra mile to re-cook it in a pan on the stove to make sure I got most of the liquid out of it.
* I made sure the oven was preheated and I prepared the pans.
* Making the batter for the cake was very simple - however, I did not have applesauce so I used apple butter and that was just fine.
* I let the cakes cool for about 15 or 20 minutes in the pans before I inverted them on a rack.
* The caramel-walnut sauce was very quick and easy. But I needed to let it cool so it would firm up before I could put the cake together. I put the sauce in the fridge for about 10 minutes - and I stirred it every couple of minutes. This worked out perfectly.
* One of the pumpkin layer cake recipies I found suggested brushing rum on the cake and letting it soak in. You know I love cooking with bourbon so hey - sure! Why not? However, I only brushed one half of the bottom layer with bourbon. It turned out to be unnecessary and almost was distracting from the caramel. Note to self: just drink the bourbon from now on.
* I piled on a generous layer of the filling on the bottom layer - but not all the way out to the edges as I knew it would kind of squish out. 
* Then, I double flipped the top layer of the cake onto the filling - do you know this trick? You want the bottom of the second cake to be the top of the whole thing. Flip the cake from the cooling rack onto a plate it will be right side up, then flip the cake onto the bottom layer and now the bottom is the top. I'll have to take pix next time. If I don't do it this way the cake ends up on the floor or cracked.
* Last, I made the frosting and really laid it on thick.

Pretty much we had the cake for dinner. Even I was surprised that it was so good. I love it when stuff works out - I'm always kind of shocked. This was definitely a winner so I'll be making it again.

In fact, it was so good my husband basically pushed the plate back, put his fork down, and then ran right down to his computer, and ordered me a new dryer. I knew the cake was good but I did not know it would be life changing.

Now everyone is happy. The cake was a big success and my new dryer is whisper quiet. I once again have fluffy soft clothes and we have proven, as always, that cake is in fact a breakfast food.

Happy Tuesday everybody! Do you need your life changed? Quick! Make this cake!

Note: sometimes people ask me why I don't just put the recipes in these posts. The answer is that they aren't mine unless I actually make them up. I usually don't so I just link to the actual recipes to avoid any kind of intellectual property disputes. Plus, other bloggers make money from their sites so it isn't fair to take that away from them. So that is why I don't copy recipes and post them here. Give a click, say hey to the other bloggers, and cut n paste them into your files. Yay!

1 comment:

David said...

Sounds delicious. I totally appreciate that you cooked the pumpkin, and made your own cream cheese and butter. Very satisfying. And breakfast. YES!

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