Christmas holidays is all about baking. This is the only season when we enjoy baking to the fullest. The three months of joy; of coldness and of coffee :) The aroma of hot hot cakes coming out of the oven is a stress-buster in itself. It helps relaxing one's mind and body after the whole day's work.
Adapted from Baking With Dorie (CulinApp, 2011)
Time: 90 minutes, plus cooling time
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons)
All-purpose flour 2 cups
Baking powder 2 tsp
Baking soda 1/2tsp
Ground cinnamon 2tsp
Grated nutmeg 1/4tsp
Grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger powder) 1 1/2tsp
Granulated sugar 1cup
Packed light brown sugar 1/2cup
Large eggs, at room temperature 2
Pure vanilla extract 1tsp
Canned unsweetened pumpkin purée 1 1/4 cup*
Apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped 1 large
Cranberries, halved or coarsely chopped 1 cup
Pecans, coarsely chopped 1 cup
1. Heat oven to 170degrees celcius with a rack in the center. Butter a 9- to 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ginger powder, if you’re using it instead of the grated ginger.
3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the remaining butter and both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
4. Reduce the speed to low and add the pumpkin, apple and grated ginger, if using it. Don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled. Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. With a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries and pecans. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake directly on the oven rack for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack. Serve in thick slices.
Yield: 12 or more servings.
*I made pumpkin puree at home. Scoop the seeds out of 1/4 of a pumpkin, roast it at 200C for about 1/2 an hour, cool it, peel it and make puree . Its easier if you can get the canned one.
**For maple icing, sift 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Add syrup little by little, until you have an icing that runs nicely off the tip of the spoon. Put the cooled cake on wax paper and drizzle the icing from the tip of the spoon over it. Let the icing set for a few minutes.
Note: Wrapped well, the cake will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, at which point it’s good for toasting; or freeze for up to 2 months.