Pumpkin and Raisin Loaf Cake

This spiced pumpkin cake is very easy to make, incredibly moist and full of plump raisins.  The glaze is made with dark brown sugar and pecans and has a flavor like bonfire toffee.  Just the thing on a cold autumn night.

pumpkin loaf

Cake:
A little butter for greasing the tin
2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup caster sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup pecans – roughly chopped
½ cup raisins

Glaze:
2oz butter
¼ cup dark brown/molasses sugar
2 tbs milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup icing/powdered sugar
¼ cup Pecans – roughly chopped

pumpkin loaf indoor

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment

Mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, spice, and salt.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until light and airy and then add the sour cream and pumpkin. Beat until smooth.

On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in the raisins.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for around 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

pumpkin loaf1

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes to cool and settle, before placing on a cooling rack. You can glaze when still a little warm, but not hot as it will just run off.

When the cake has cooled enough, prepare the glaze.

pumpkin loaf2

Place all the ingredients, except the pecans in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it comes up to a boil. Whisk together for a couple of minutes until smooth and thickened. Finish by adding the pecans.

This dark and bubbling glaze will be phenomenally hot, so allow it to cool for a few moments before pouring over the cake.

pumpkin loaf slice

Enjoy with a hot chocolate or good hot coffee.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

This is full of warm autumnal spices, brown sugar and pumpkin. The inside is soft, fluffy and smooth – all topped with a crisp, brown sugar and pecan streusel.

Pumpkin bake2

I think this is the perfect weekend breakfast or brunch dish to make you feel warm and cozy on a chilly autumn day with the family.

It’s super easy to prepare and is actually better if it is prepared the night before you want to bake it. Just whisk the custard ingredients together, pour over the bread cubes and refrigerate. The streusel topping should be scattered over the casserole just before baking.

Pumpkin bake1

Ingredients:
Butter for greasing the dish
1 large loaf of brioche or challah, cut into cubes
8 large eggs
1 ½ cup/360ml of whole milk
1 ½ cup/360ml of double/heavy cream
Zest of one orange
1tbs vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar – lightly packed
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (about half a can)
2tsp pumpkin pie spice
1tsp cinnamon
½ cup raisins
Pinch of salt

Streusel topping:
2/3 cups/80g plain/all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed soft brown sugar
Small handful of pecans, roughly broken into pieces
1tsp cinnamon
113g/4oz/1 stick of cold butter cut into dice

Warm maple syrup for serving

Method:
Butter the casserole dish

Streusel:
Mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted. Add the butter and mix until the topping resembles rough breadcrumbs. Stir in the pecans and set aside. This step can easily be done by hand by rubbing in the butter. Set aside while you make the pumpkin custard.

Pumpkin bake3.5

Method:
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, pumpkin, vanilla, spices, zest and sugar in a large bowl until fully incorporated and smooth.

Pile the bread cubes into the casserole dish, scattering a few raisins throughout. Pour over the custard, making sure all the cubes are soaked. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight if this going to be baked for breakfast.

When you are ready to bake the casserole, pre-heat the oven to 180°C/360°F and scatter over the streusel. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for a further 30 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is crunchy, browned and caramelised.

Pumpkin bake4

Serve hot with warmed maple syrup and good hot coffee for a perfect Autumnal weekend or holiday breakfast.

Plum and Pecan Friands with a Maple Glaze

This is my first friand recipe using autumnal flavours. The plums that are in season at the moment are delicious – sweet and winey. They are great just eaten on their own and the children love eating them, but they are lovely to cook with too.

plum pecan friands

These friands are made with ground pecans rather than the usual ground almonds. My eldest son says he doesn’t like pecans (what is wrong with him?) but he liked these very much. He did remove the pecan on the top though!

The flavour of the pecans is lovely and goes so well with the cinnamon and orange zest and the seasonal fresh plums are delicious. The maple glaze is optional really, but really works well with all the flavours.

Plum Pecan friand 3

The first batch of these turned out a little wet, so after I have chopped the plums, I place them on some kitchen paper to absorb a little of the moisture. You only have to do that if the plums are extra juicy though.

Plum Pecan friand closeup

Ingredients:
6 large egg whites/250ml Two Chicks pasteurised egg whites
250g icing sugar
130g pecans + 12 extra to top each cake
100g plain/all-purpose flour – sieved with 2tsp cinnamon
Zest of an un-waxed orange
160g melted butter + extra for greasing the tin
5 small ripe plums – chopped into small pieces and placed on some kitchen paper

Maple Glaze:
½ cup sieved icing sugar
2-3tbs maple syrup – enough to thin

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180°C and brush the pan with the extra melted butter

Tip the pecans into the food processor, a coffee grinder, or I used the milling attachment on my Nutribullet and pulse the pecans until they are completely ground into crumbs. Make sure you keep agitating the nuts to keep them on the move, otherwise, as they are quite moist, you can end up with pecan butter.

Tip the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until broken down and frothy. Add the butter and zest and whip until fluffy.

On low speed, add the ground pecans, icing sugar, flour and cinnamon until just combined. Stir in the plums by hand.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. I use an ice cream scoop to do this as I make less mess.

Plum Pecan friands closeup2

Place a pecan nut on the top of each cake and bake for 30-35 minutes or until they have risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes before gently turning out onto a wire cooling rack. I actually left these until they were almost cool because they are quite delicate.

Leave to cool completely before making the glaze.

Plum Pecan friand closeup1

For the glaze, simply stir maple syrup into the icing sugar until you have a runny consistency and drizzle back and forth over the cooled cakes.

These are delicious served with coffee, but would be perfect for an autumn picnic too.