Now that the multicolored leaves are fluttering all around when I walk from class to class, it seems appropriate to bake a cake shaped like a pumpkin. I wanted to save it for a special occasion so that it would have a worthy crowd but when a friend asked if she could use me for a magazine project for her class, I knew that the pumpkin cake would be perfect for her; it's cute and its seasonal.
Though the cake wasn't particularly difficult to make, it was time consuming. But, since I've had a few comments about my lack of photos in the process of baking, I took some extra time for you faithful readers out there to provide you with step by step photos once again.
So here we go. To make the cake, you sift all of the dry ingredients on to a piece of parchment paper so that you can easily add it to the batter later. The spices include cinnamon and nutmeg.
Then you mix your liquid ingredients. I had to buy a new ingredient for this cake and I was completely shocked that my local grocery store carried it:
Then you beat in pumpkin puree and vanilla:
Once you add the flour mixture, you put them into the two individual, rounded pans. For some reason I already had a spherical pan... I think I made a basketball cake or something of the sort as a junior high student. I had to dig in the bottom of the boxes in the attic to find this old friend.
One of the cakes was a little lopsided but that was ok because in the end you cut the tops of them off so that they fit nicely on top of each other.
Then it was time to make the burnt orange silk meringue buttercream.
When I first read that, I thought I was going to have to burn an orange to get some sort of smoked flavor. But then I realized it was just a blonde moment. Burnt orange refers to the color. But, not to completely discredit myself, you do put orange concentrate and orange zest in the icing.
There's a three step process to get the final product.
Step 1: make the Creme Anglaise. Cream Anglaise is basically caramel with some egg yolks. The yolks make it thick and delicious. Thankfully I didn't burn the caramel (I think i'm finally getting better at it- knock on wood) and it all turned out well the first time.
Step 2: Italian Meringue. I don't have a picture but just imagine a normal meringue. It's nothing special.
Step 3: Complete the butter cream:
First you whip the butter in the stand mixer.
Then you add the creme anglaise and then the meringue. Next you add the orange flavor and the orange color. Viola- Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream. It's a mouthful to say it but it tastes divine.
I finally iced the cake and got busy on the decorations. I tinted some of the icing brown by adding a bit of cocoa powder to the batter. Then I went to work on the leaves. Rose colored her leaves different colors but I stuck with the basic green. I just used some old gum paste I had tucked away somewhere, colored it green, and then shaped them. They dried for awhile and then I assembled the whole cake!
I was really proud of the final product!
I took it to a party tonight and dropped it off so I didn't actually get to taste a slice. I did, however, taste the pieces that I cut off and put a bit of icing on them so I know that it tasted pretty good. It was really moist and a delicious recipe for a pumpkin cake!
Rose's Heavenly Cakes page 125