Saturday, March 25, 2006

Extreme Makeover to Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars - Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Whoever says we can't eat pumpkin cake in March, I disagree with them. Pumpkin not only makes a great Thanksgiving ingredient but also a good all-year round ingredient. I love pumkin as long as it is in a cake form. I cannot tolerate pumpkin pie.

Paula Deen baked up some pumpkin bars on one of episodes following Thanksgiving weekend. She said it is a great way to use up leftover pumpkin. That recipe intrigued me a lot and I did make the pumpkin bars the very next weekend following her show. I also made the cream-cheese frosting for the bars.

Today, I wanted to make something more than just bars. I decided on using the same recipe(with some changes, of course) but baking it in a Bundt pan (this link takes you to Wikipedia's entry on Bundt cake. It has some very interesting facts about the origin of the cake and the pan etc,.). I have a 10-cup Nordic Ware Star Bundt Pan(red color) that I bought on impulse almost 4 years ago but it lied un used in my cupboard up until 2 years ago when I discovered the pan's magic. In my experience all the cakes I have baked in a bundt pan come out much more moister than when baked in a regular round/rectangular cake pans. And the cakes look much more prettier on a bundt cake with minimal decorations :).

The Bundt cake reminds me of a scene from the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" where
Ian Miller's family comes to visit Toula's family for the first time and Ian's mom brings a bundt cake. Toula's mom Maria takes the cake and exclaims "there is a hole in this cake". She then leaves and later emerges with the cake with a plant inside the "hole" of the bundt cake. That scene just cracks me up everytime I watch the movie.

As I said before, I did modify Paula Deen's recipe by adding less sugar, less eggs, reducing the amount of flour and adding flax seed flour instead etc. I promise that the end result will be a very moist pumpkin cake. The addition of the flax seed flour gave it a really good texture. Read on for the recipe.

Software
---------------
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 15 -oz canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp confectioners'/powdered sugar
  • Cooking spray to spray the pan
Hardware
---------------
  • One large (5 qt) mixing bowl
  • One medium (3-4 qt) bowl
  • One 10 cup Bundt Pan
Method
--------------
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda into the medium bowl. Add in 1/3 cup of flax-seed powder. Keep aside.
  • Break the eggs into the large mixing bowl, add sugar, oil and the pumpkin. On medium speed, using a hand blender blend for atleast 5-7 minutes until bubbles start forming on top.
  • Add the flour mixture from the previous step gradually and beat on low using the hand blender. Do not add all the flour at once as it will not incorporate into the egg mixture. Add it in batches.
  • Spray the bundt pan with the cooking oil spray generously making sure you cover all the nooks of the pan.
  • Pour the 1/3rd of the flour mixture into the pan. Scatter 1/4 cup each of the chocolate chips on top of the flour mixture in the bundt pan.
  • Pour another 1/3rd of the flour mixture into the bundt pan on top of the chocolate chips.
  • Repeat with the remaining chocolate chips and top off with the remainder of the flour mixture.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • After the cake is done, remove it from the oven and cool for about 30 min on a wire rack in the pan, then invert the cake onto the wire rack and cool completely.
  • Place the cake on a serving platter, invert it from the step above (the top of the cake should be the flat one and not the curvy one). Using a bread knife, carefully cut off the part of the cake that has sprung up during the baking process so the top is leveled. Eat the cake shreds :)
  • Re-invert the cake so the flat side is down.
  • Put the 2 tbsp of the confectioners' sugar into the smallest sieve you have (use my tea sieve) and move it across the cake so the sugar covers the cake. The top part of the cake should have a little more sugar than the sides.
Tips and Suggestion: The addition of flax-seed flour is optional. I added it for health reasons. You can use all flour if needed.
Addition of chocolate-chips is also optional. The semi-sweet and the white chocolate chips can be interchanged.
Serving Suggestion: Cut up the cake into pieces and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

11 comments:

Glutton Cat said...

I have never thought about pumpkin as a cake ingredient. It look delicious. yummm.

Santhi said...

I dont own a bundt pan:(:(
time to get one i guess..
MBFGW is such a hilariuos movie,
My fave scene in the movie is when the mom says "eat something toula".:)

Luv2cook said...

Glutton Cat:

The only way I use pumpkin is if it is in a baked form :) masked with other ingredients like flour and sugar :). I cannot tolerate it in any other form.

Santhi:

I can watch the movie any number of times and I still wouldn't get bored. I feel bundt cakes come in use when going to a small party. You don't have to go through the pain of making two round pans then joining them together with frosting and eating more sugar in the process :). I feel that most bundt cakes require no frostng at all which makes it a little guilt free :).

Ashwini said...

Adorable :-) First off I cant imagine making ANY of Paula's recipes without reducing the butter and eggs. Have you seen what she adds? Its like an invitation to an heart attack! The use of a bundt pan is so creative. I have a heart shaped mini one. (I am under the illusion that buying mini bakeware is one step towards keeping an eye on the calories. As I said illusion!). The cakes do come out really well, and pretty. AND I love Greek Wedding too. My fave is when she declares he is vegetarian and when the inlaws get drunk on grappa and when...well you get the idea :-)

Luv2cook said...

Thanks, Ashwini. I agree with you on Paula's recipes. I myself only bake large quantities of food if I am going to a party or giving it away to someone. This was for a weekend potluck :). I think the guilt of making her recipe actually motivated me to add the flaxseed flour instead of all flour and reducing the sugar and the eggs. I sometimes use mashed banana/apple sauce instead of the egg if the "banana"/"apple" flavor can go with the cake.

sailu said...

Beautiful looking pumkin cake!

Indira said...

I'm also like you, I don't know why but I dislike pumpkin. Something about it puts me off.

But your cake looks very promising. I'm going to take your word and cook a cake with pumpkin one of these days.:)

I remember that scene from the movie. You know what I thought about that scene? Who lives in US all their life, born and brought up, still don't know about bundt cake?
Grooms mom' way of showingoff to brides parents.:), isn't it? Funny.

Luv2cook said...

Sailu:

Thanks.

Indira:

Something about the slimy texture of pumpkin in a pumpkin pie is what puts me off. This cake does have a pumpkin flavor but I think you should try it. You will never know what you like until you try, right? :).

Saffron said...

looks really lovely. Kudos for taking a PD recipe and making it healthier!!

Vineela said...

Hi,
U r cake looks really yummy.
I love to take one piece .
vineela

wheresmymind said...

That looks like health food compared to other Dean recipes ;)