I made soup with some of my Halloween pumpkin leftovers but despite the addition of curry paste and coconut milk it was pretty bland. This cake however proved a very good way of redeeming tasteless Halloween pumpkin.
I froze most of my leftover pumpkin. I cut it into chunks and put it into a big pot with a couple of inches of water and cooked it until soft. I drained it and then went in with my stick blender. I froze it in 1lb portions. I used one of those tubs of pumpkin to make two of these cakes.
I'll come clean and admit that this cake started life as muffins. Lack of muffin cases forced a change of plan. I poured the batter into a traybake tin instead. Much less trouble especially as my traybake tins are lined with reusable baking liners.
Pumpkin and Walnut Squares
In a bowl put
9 oz (255g) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
2½ tsp of spices -select your own combination from cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves and mixed spice.
6 oz (170g) light muscovado sugar
Mix well with your fingertips to eliminate lumps in the sugar
In another bowl put
Beat the eggs and add
3 fl oz (90 ml) vegetable oil or melted butter
3 fl oz (90ml) milk
3 tablespoons of honey
8 oz (225g) pureed pumpkin -an ounce more or less will not make much difference
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and combine thoroughly so that no dry flour remains. Be careful not to beat the living daylights out of it though.
Finally fold in 3 oz ( 85g) chopped walnuts or pecans.
Spread batter into a 13' 'x 9'' traybake tin which you have greased and base-lined.
When spreading the batter if you push it into the corners and make the edges slightly higher than the middle it will help make the cake the same thickness throughout.
Bake at 180°c (160°c fan oven) for 25 mins.
When cool if you like ice it with a little runny water icing -about 4 oz (110g) icing sugar plus 2 tbsp water or orange juice. I added a smidgen of 'chestnut' food colouring for a bit of autumnal colour coordination.
Cut into squares once the icing has firmed up.
To be honest I only iced it to encourage children to eat it. They are a bit reluctant to eat cakes with veg in them. Don't be misled by my silly children though -this is a delicious spicy cake with the crunch of nuts and a moist crumb.
~Any kind of winter squash or pumpkin will do -butternut for example. You don't have to wait for a discarded Halloween pumpkin.
~The nuts are optional. You could leave them out or use sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead.
~The honey could be replaced with maple syrup. This would be particularly good with pecans.
~As with most cakes this freezes well. Cut into squares, place on a baking sheet and open freeze until hard. Then gather squares up and place in a container and put back in the freezer.