Pumpkin cake allotment

Pumpkin patch to Pud – pumpkins, squash and chocolate cake

So I managed to drag myself away from painting the new casa this week for some pumpkin patch attention and my frenchie idol Eric at the Cake and Bake show in the big smoke

Cake and Bake Show – Excel, London

Fourth time Ive met Eric Lanlard and another two signed books, if only he remembered me, sigh! I was the only one in the queue for his book signing to years ago and now everyone wants a piece of him…. trend setting loyalty fan points?!  One of Erics bake shows I saw was a winter warmer cake fest of fruit cake (dont do fruit cake) and a pumpkin, pecan and chocolate cake (I certainly do chocolate).  When we met, I said I would give it a go if I got a surviving pumpkin the next day, and he warned me of the hardest bit – prepping the pumpkin, don’t I know it…seeds, skin, mud….

Pumpkin Patch – Village allotment

On a lame foodie festival 4 weeks ago at Holdenby House we had a poke around the ‘kitchen garden’,  Big orange perfect looking pumpkins in one bed – but all the vegetation was cut back whilst mine had recently exploded but with just some smaller yellow balls.

Pumpkin patch madness Butternut patch

I panicked, mamma mia & I thought this must be the way to do it, so I hacked away the following weekend back to the vines for pumpkins and butternuts….. fatal error.

My squashes started dying and going squelchy and a veteran allotmenteer colleague told me off! So it appears that due to the large tube in the stems (aka the vasular bundle) which transports all the water I need to make them big and orange has quite a large xylem so lots of space for bugs and dirt to ender the plants systems.

I had one this weekend that was turning orange but starting to go a little funky so I chopped it and whipped up the below. I have one pumpkin hanging on so I’m egging him on to stay healthy for Halloween.  The butternuts seem to be a little stronger and have had one biggie with a few others looking very promising

Homegrown butternut squash Growing butternut

Cake Bake Make – Messy Kitchen

My first pumpkin cake!  The village shops had no pecans (no surprise there) and wasn’t in the mood for trekking out so I choose some walnuts instead and then followed Erics recipe below from the show and his book ‘totally chocolate’.  Its a water based cake which is a it weird and a new one on me but gives quite an earthy puddingy cake with a bit of warmth from the chilli pepper….

  • 150g walnuts (roasted for 10mins with 1tsp cayenne pepper and 2tbsp brown sugar, then chopped)
  • 225g dark chocolate & 150g butter melted together
  • 3 eggs
  • 275g sugar (Eric says dark muscovado, I only had light muscovado and soft dark brown so used half/half)
  • 275ml water
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 100g grated pumpkin flesh
  1. Beat sugar and eggs
  2. Beat in all ingredients except flour and nuts
  3. Fold in flour and nutsWinter warmer cake mix
  4. Bake for 1hr 10mins at 170oC

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