Hello October! I finally get to come back here and share my thoughts, photographs and recipes with you. I had a wonderful summer with lots of challenging projects, so I have so many stories to share with you. First of, let’s talk about this season. Fall is so enchanting with its crisp air, changing colors, nostalgia for the past, and flavorful produce! For me, pumpkin and walnuts equate to the indescribable beauty of fall, when the best produce is carefully harvest to comfort the cold winter that’s coming ahead.
I feel particularly inspired by fall because I feel that it gives you the time to take stock of your surroundings much more than any other season. This particular beauty that I believe fall holds as its essence can be tasted and observed in this decadent chocolate-pumpkin cake recipe and in these photographs that brim with that elegance that fall brings along with it.
This is the right cake you need this fall, because it has the perfect ratio of spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. The cake is soft and the pumpkin flavor marries so well with the spices. The chocolate is just the right amount so that is doesn’t overwhelm the flavors. It’s really so extraordinary that with ingredients so simple such amazing flavors can be achieved. And if there is something timeless and romantic about fall, this cake must be!
20 tablespoons (250 g) soft unsalted butter, more for greasing
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, more for dusting
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
1 ½ cup (400 g) plain pumpkin purée (I used fresh pumpkin which I baked)
a handful chopped walnuts
2 ½ cups (200 g) confectioners’ sugar
10 ounces (200 g) semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream 8 tablespoons (100 g) butter and the granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in pumpkin purée. Mixture may look slightly curdled. Stir in flour mixture about half a cup at a time until smooth. Fold walnuts.
3. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven until springy to the touch, about 40-55 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, run a knife around edges, invert onto rack and peel off paper. Let cake cool completely.
4. In a large bowl, blend remaining 12 tablespoons (150 g) butter and confectioners’ sugar together. Blend in chocolate and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
5. Obtain two cake layers by cutting the cake in half, lengthwise. Top bottom layer with cream. Place second layer on top, and use remaining cream to dress all sides of cake.