Sunday, 23 October 2011

pumpkin bread

Pumpkins...Halloween...tis the season

It's about this time of year we keep seeing all those celebrities visiting Pumpkin Patch in LA. Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba et al all getting their pumpkin fix.

You'd be blind to miss the plentiful supply of bulbous orange squash sitting in the supermarkets. Did you know that Halloween is coming up? Have you carved your scary face?

Stupid costumes aside, I love the pumpkin side of October. My American friend makes a pumpkin dip to dunk sharp sour apple into, but my flat mate made this wonderful bread found on Joy of Baking, that can be enjoyed for breakfast with a cup of coffee, your afternoon tea, or just a snack. It is sooooo good. She used far less sugar, as there is no need for so much, and quite frankly I've always enjoyed pumpkin only slightly sweetened, so that all the spices come through and it doesn't become too sickly. We like it on its own, but you might like a little spread of butter.

The smell coming from the oven is amazing. It makes two loaves, so either eat one very quickly, give them away, or freeze one. It keeps very well. Also I recommend a really good loaf tin. A non stick silicone one works perfectly, and means no need for greasing or lining. I got one of these lately.

You definitely need some of this before you proceed!

Cream Cheese Filling:
227g cream cheese, room temp
100g granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Pumpkin Bread:
110g pecans or walnuts
450g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
400g granulated white sugar (NB we only used 300g)
226 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
425g can pure pumpkin
120ml water
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Oven @ 180 ' C for 50-65 mins, 2 loaf tins.

Toast nuts on baking tray, cool and chop.

Cream cheese filling - using spoon or processor, cream the cheese until smooth with the sugar. Then add the eggs one at a time, and stir in flour. DO NOT OVER PROCESS OR OVER STIR, otherwise it'll be too thin and will be absorbed by the bread when cooking. Leave to the side.

Pumpkin bread - in a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In another bowl whisk eggs, and add sugar and melted butter. Whisk together. Stir in the pumpkin, water, vanilla and nuts. Add the flour mix bit by bit and stir in until just combined. DO NOT OVER STIR AS IT WILL MAKE IT TOO TOUGH.

Divide batter total in half and the cream cheese filling so it will be enough for 2 tins.

For one loaf, divide half the batter and spread into tin. Place the cream cheese filling on top of the batter and then top off with the remaining half of batter (use two spoons to place small dollops of batter on top of the filling so not to mix together).

Repeat for 2nd loaf tin (or use the same loaf tin after the 1st has cooked).

Bake for about 50-65 mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.


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