134/365 - Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
So, three days after selecting a food shot for my 365, thinking that I haven’t posted too many food shots, I end up selecting…
another food shot.
Didn’t really spend a lot of time taking pictures today. Got a few shots of the kids making breakfast for my wife this morning, but in my precaffeinated state I didn’t think to actually, y’know, use the flashes I’ve been playing with nonstop for the last few weeks. While the shots I got were great for the family album, I didn't think any of them worth posting. Grabbed a few candids while we were visiting my in-laws for Mother’s Day, including this shot of the dessert I made this morning for the occasion.
We were due to go shopping and were low on several supplies, so this was a see-what’s-in-the-pantry recipe, put together off-the-cuff this morning. Started with a can of pumpkin purée and a basic 2:2:1:1 flour:liquid🍳fat quick bread ratio (à la Michael Ruhlman—I can’t recommend his latest few books highly enough: Ratio, Charcuterie, and Ruhlman’s Twenty), and landed here. As usual, I took notes, and the recipe I ended up with is below.
Photography-wise, this was nothing but a snapshot on my in-laws’ back porch in the shade. Threw the camera into aperture priority and took a few quick ones.
Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 18-200mm @ 56mm, 1/125s @ ƒ/8 (Aperture priority), ISO500 (auto ISO mode). Natural light. White balance corrected, boosted vibrance, and cropped in Aperture.
For the cake
12 oz. all-purpose flour
3 oz. light brown sugar
3 oz. granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbl. finely minced candied ginger
10 oz. pumpkin purée
1 c. whole milk
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tbl. bourbon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tbl. corn syrup
1 tbl. + 1 tsp. bourbon
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
For the cake
Note: you might want to make the frosting for the caramel first, to allow it time to cool while the cake bakes.
Preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack in the lower-middle position.
Prepare a 10" (5 c.) Bundt pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray or by greasing and flouring it well. Be sure to get all the nooks and crannies to ensure that the cake releases cleanly.
Put the flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, spices, and candied ginger in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine completely. (Optionally, you can add 1 c. of toasted chopped pecans for a little extra texture and flavor.)
In another bowl, put the pumpkin, milk, eggs, melted butter, oil, bourbon, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and mix until no dry streaks remain.
Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, shake a bit to level, then bake 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the cake emerges clean. Remove from the oven, cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup, and place over high heat. Add 1 tbl. of the bourbon to the heavy cream. Without moving the pan, heat the sugar syrup to boiling, and watch it carefully.
When it begins to change color, gently swirl the pan until the sugar caramelizes and turns a dark amber color. As soon as the color is right, remove from the heat, and immediately pour in the heavy cream. Be careful! This will bubble, hiss, and foam up, and the caramel is extremely hot.
Return to medium heat and whisk just until the caramel is completely dissolved into the cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
When cooled, put the cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add 1/2 of the caramel and the last 1 tsp. of bourbon, and beat to combine completely. You'll need to scrape the sides down once or twice to get everything. (This can be done with a hand mixer or even by hand just as well, albeit needing a little more time and/or effort.)
When the cake is cooled to room temperature, frost with the caramel cream cheese. Drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over the top and serve.