Monday, May 04, 2009

Gardening and Cakes

It's been a while since my last post and I hope everyone has been well and happy.
There has still been lots of enthusiastic cooking going on around here, but I've just been too busy to even go near my computer. Or too tired.
Last weekend we had volunteers in the garden helping us clean up, prune and plant new trees in our garden. I think this has been the third time Heritage Gardens Victoria has organised this working bee for us and it is very much appreciated, as maintaining this wonderful garden is a monumental task. While I did not do any gardening myself, my sister-in-law and I kept the volunteers in good spirits with yummy morning and afternoon tea's. I was in heaven as this meant I could bake to my hearts content and try out a few new recipes.
There was an old favorite of mine, a super-moist Pumpkin Gingerbread, an Italian Olive Oil and Apple cake, some Jamaican Banana Muffins and Sultana Buns, and finally a beautiful Pear and Blueberry upside down cake. So, where shall I start?
I found this recipe in an old Vogue Entertainment Magazine. My kids don't particularly like pumpkin, and I had all this pumpkin to use up. So it was indeed a lucky find. Since then, I make this Gingerbread on a regular basis as it is a great way of using up left over pumpkin. All you need is 200g. I simply love the bright color, it cheers me up. And what an appropriate vegetable to eat during these autumn days!
I often think it is one of the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables in season. Not only are the produce at its best and most flavorsome, but they fit so perfectly to the season in their texture and color.
And here is the recipe for this lovely cake.
Pumpkin Gingerbread

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups golden caster sugar (I use a little less)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cups water
200g pumpkin, cooked and mashed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 ginger, ground
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream the eggs and sugar until it turns creamy. Slowly add the vegetable oil, then the water and the mashed pumpkin and whisk until its a smooth mix.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
Fold dry ingredients into the pumpkin mix and pour into a small bread loaf tin.

Bake for about 45 min at 175C

To jazz the cake up for a special occasion, serve it with this delicious cream.

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom

No comments: