Yesterday it was Wednesday and there’s no school in most parts of France on Wednesdays so the littlies were at home. A bit odd at first but quite nice for the kids to have a day off half way through the week, especially as the school hours of 9 to 5 are so long (for Frannie anyway). Over the last few weeks it’s become a bit of baking day at Chez Foti, trying out a new cake or muffin recipe or two and getting the littlies to help with the weighing, pouring, whisking, stirring and of course most importantly the tasting. Yesterday it was the turn of a Chocolate Pumpkin Cake, not only one of the ‘healthiest’ cakes I’ve ever made but one of the moistest and most temptingly delicious. And the kids LOVE it. I think this’ll be a regular Wednesday bake!.
I love experimenting with veggies in cakes, much to the horror of the French who still haven’t really got to grips with the humble carrot cake. I made many a Courgette Cake with homemade Lemon Curd over the summer, and lots of Chocolate Courgette or Marrow Cakes of late using up the last of the glut. I’ve also baked quite a bit with Butternut Squash in Muffins and Cakes and once even made a gloriously coloured Beetroot Chocolate Cake. But using Pumpkin was a newbie to me, and after a couple of attempts I’ve perfected my recipe and it really is a winner. Low in sugar, and only using healthier unrefined Light Muscavado anyway, and richly flavoured by Roasted Pumpkin, Cocoa and a little warming Cinnamon.
We’ve more than a few pumpkins at Chez Foti, to be honest I’ve not counted them but there’s a lot. They should definitely see us through the winter and I have a feeling the blog will be moving from it’s recent tomato red to pumpkin orange. I’ve picked a few already but most are still out on the patch and will stay there slowly ripening until there’s a risk of frosts.
I’m entering this blog for my first ever time to the We Should Cocoa challenge, held by Choclette of the Chocolate Log Blog and the Chocolate Teapot Blog and this month guest hosted by Hungry Hinny. This month’s challenge is to pair Pumpkin with Chocolate or Cocoa.
I’m going for a double whammy and also putting it forward to the One Ingredient Challenge, as this month the ingredient so happens to be Squash or Pumpkin!. The challenge is held jointly by Laura at How to Cook Good Food and this month by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen.
I baked my cake in a medium sized baking tin and made a wee extra in one of my Oogaa bowls for the kids. Being silicone they’re perfect for baking cakes in. Incase you haven’t already dropped by, the Oogaa Recipe site is now up and running and features several Chez Foti baby and kids recipes. You can even add your own recipes!
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Makes one very large traybake (20 x 35cm tin) or a smaller tin and a few individual cakes. Can be frozen.
700g of pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into very large chunks
120g of unsalted butter, room temperature
120ml of sunflower oil
260g of light muscovado sugar
3 medium free range eggs, lightly beaten
130ml of milk
350g of plain flour
50g of cocoa powder
2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Special Equipment: 20 x 35cm baking tin lined with baking parchment, or 6 silicone Oogaa bowls
Begin with roasting your pumpkin. Place the very large chunks on a baking sheet in an oven pre-heated to 190ºC/Gas Mark 5. Bake for about 40 minutes until they’re pretty soft, turning once or twice during the cooking time. Once cooked remove from the pan, place in a bowl and thoroughly mash with a potato masher. Leave to cool a little. This part could always be done before, when you happen to be using the oven.
Meanwhile start the cake batter. Place the very soft butter, sunflower oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir or whisk until well combined.
Whisk in the eggs, followed by the milk.
Now gradually sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and cinnamon to the cake mixture, stirring until well combined with each sifting.
Finally stir in the slightly cooled mashed pumpkin and spoon out into your lined baking tin or bowls. Bake big cakes in the preheated oven (190ºC/Gas Mark 5) for 30 to 40 minutes and smaller ones for around 25 minutes. They’re ready when they’re firm to touch on the top (but still feeling a little squidgy), and an inserted skewer comes out clean of crumbs.
Cut into squares and serve as soon as cool enough to eat. You won’t be able to resist long!
Here’s some other Chez Foti sweet treats: Easy Chocolate Birthday Cake, Courgette Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd, Chocolate Brownies, My Girly Fairy Cake Heaven, Super-Fruity Banana Mini Muffins.
October 18th, 2012 at 5:15 pm
This looks so moist and fudgy, almost brownie like – it definitely doesn’t look like a ‘healthy’ cake! Thanks very much for entering We Should Cocoa 🙂
October 19th, 2012 at 7:03 am
Hi Natalie, it is actually very brownie like and quite fudgy, though considerably better for you than the brownies I normally make! Louisa
October 18th, 2012 at 5:20 pm
Can’t wait to try this – what a great idea! Beetroot and chocolate was a big failure with my family, but I reckon this combination will be a lot more popular.
October 19th, 2012 at 7:08 am
Please try it! The roasted pumpkin adds a lovely natural sweetness to the cake (assuming it’s a flavoursome pumpkin anyway!) and also a good deal of squidgeability to the bake 🙂
October 18th, 2012 at 8:18 pm
I too have really enjoyed using pumpkins and squashes in so many bakes this year. They work so well I can’t believe it has taken me so long to realise!
This cake looks like it has a fudgy, brownie like texture that would be perfect for my family.
Thanks so much for entering One Ingredient xx
October 19th, 2012 at 7:13 am
I love adding veggies to cakes as not only do they add extra goodness the bakes are always so moist. And don’t burn their bums in my terrible oven! The pumpkin’s definitely my favourite so far though as it adds a fab fudgy texture and lots of healthier natural sweetness.
October 18th, 2012 at 9:46 pm
I’ll be making this on Friday night for my sister-in-law’s pre-marriage ladies’ get-together! I’m pretty sure there won’t be any left overs for the men!
If I wanted to ‘de-health’ it a bit, do you have a decadent side or icing you’d recommend?
October 19th, 2012 at 7:24 am
Oh Saz, no pressure for it to be too good then! I’m reckoning you could very satisfactorily de-healthy it with a thick layer of ganache style chocolate icing on the top, melted good quality plain chocolate mixed with cream….the same icing I put on Jacques’ birthday cake in fact. Here’s the link. https://chezfoti.com/2012/05/18/chocolate-birthday-cake/
Hope it’s a good night! Bet they bake a lot with pumpkins this time of year in Canada?
October 18th, 2012 at 10:04 pm
Your leaning tower of pumpkins photo is wonderful. You should be feeling very proud of all the wonderful produce you’re producing. Our squashes came to nothing this year due to the appalling summer we had and I’m feeling bereft. For the first time in many a long year I’m going to have to buy a squash, so I can take part in my own challenge!
Your cake sounds delicious and shows once again, that your children have good taste. Thanks for entering it into WSC 🙂
October 19th, 2012 at 7:32 am
Thanks so much Choclette! I’ve only been growing veggies for a couple of seasons and seem to be extraordinarily lucky with the results. But then we do have a lot if sunshine, and this year quite a bit of rain too. And a lots of space so I can grow plenty of everything incase there’s any failures!
October 19th, 2012 at 11:25 am
This sounds scrummy Louise, really keen to try it. Such lovely pics of your children too, looks as if they’re really enjoying making and eating it! Great healthy idea and you’ve inspired me to grow lots more squash next year. Andrea
October 19th, 2012 at 1:24 pm
Thanks Andrea, I’m glad my kids are really showing an interest in cooking and baking now. Makes cake baking much more fun! I’m loving cooking with squash and pumpkins at the moment and really look forward to this time of year, Louisa
October 19th, 2012 at 2:06 pm
Chocolate & pumpkin – now there’s a delicious idea. Can’t wait to try it!
October 21st, 2012 at 1:48 pm
Thanks, let me know if you try it!
October 21st, 2012 at 2:31 pm
This looks delicious and so moist! I love your pumpkin tower picture!
October 27th, 2012 at 7:41 pm
[…] We Should Cocoa first-timer, Louisa at Chez Foti came up with a chocolate pumpkin cake that looks so dense and moist it’s almost brownie-like, and it’s even a little bit […]
October 29th, 2012 at 11:10 pm
[…] to make was pumpkin based. I spotted a delicious looking chocolate pumpkin cake over at Louisa of Chez Foti’s blog that I knew would keep well if made a few days ahead of time. It proved to be very popular and […]
November 1st, 2012 at 10:59 pm
Love the cake, and your children are adorable. I do a chocolate and beetroot cake (on my blog) but I’ve never tried one with pumpkin. Must remedy this gap in my baking repertoire. Thanks for the Twitter follow. We seem to ‘know’ quite a lot of the same people 😀
November 2nd, 2012 at 2:17 pm
Thanks Kellie. I think pumpkin’s my favourite veggie in cakes now, mainly as it adds a pleasing natural sweetness. Thanks for the follow too!
November 22nd, 2012 at 11:14 pm
I do love the moistness of this chocolate and pumpkin cake Louisa. I also have to say that the pictures of the pumpkins and your lovely kids are great. I shall have to look at the baking containers you mention. 🙂
Sorry for taking so long am finally doing the one ingredient roundup and will link back to your post
November 24th, 2012 at 1:40 pm
Thanks Nazima. The Oogaa bowls are amazing, my kids eat their breakfast, lunch and dinner out of them most days and they’re brilliant for baking with too!. I think they’re only for sale in the UK from an independent store in Kew at the minute, but will hopefully be coming very soon. I’ll find out.
November 30th, 2012 at 12:43 am
[…] for dessert, here is Louisa’s Chocolate Pumpkin Cake that she made with her kids, and looks like a very dense, brownie like cake. Absolutely delicious, […]