Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Orange-Ginger Pumpkin Bread

I have a small thing about pumpkins. Okay, not so small. And, it's true that I stock up on about 200 lbs. (or more) of pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes annually. Before you contact "Hoarders" with my info, just know that I do actually cook my stash. And bury the evidence in the compost heap. By spring, no one would ever know.

I have an alibi that smells like pumpkin bread, too. And soup. And pie. Cookies, cake, stew, gratin ... the latest recipe is for bread, though. You can make this into a cake, however, or muffins or cupcakes.

Orange-Ginger Pumpkin Bread
Dry ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbs. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground mace, or nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Wet ingredients:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
1/2 cup milk, 2 percent is okay but not skim
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbs. plus 1 tsp. organic canola oil
3 tbs. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract

1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1/2 cup raisins, if you want them

First, decide what type of pumpkin dessert you want here. For a loaf pan, use 9x5x3. For muffins, you'll make about 12 normal sized muffins. If you are making a cake, you may have to double the batch depending on your cake pan of choice. You'll need to base the cooking time for a cake on the recipes that come with the pan there.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line your pan/muffin pan/cupcake papers, etc..

First, mix the dry ingredients well with a whisk. This makes sure the spices and leavening are evenly distributed. It's harder to do this if you add the dry ingredients one at a time to the wet ones.

Next, in your mixer bowl, add all the "wet" ingredients, and mix well. Add the dry ingredients slowly, mixing on low speed as you go. Beat on higher speed for a minute. Fold in the candied ginger. Raisins, if you like them.

Pour the mixture evenly into your pan(s). Bake as follows:
• For cake, "guesstimate" the time from recipes that come with your cake pan, check in advance of the time so you don't overcook. My cute little pumpkin cake pan took about 50 minutes.
• For the loaf pan, about 60 minutes
• About 18-20 minutes for standard muffins
• About 10-12 minutes for mini muffins

Check to be sure they are done in center, of course. If this is a dessert such as cake or cupcake, or you just love cream cheese frosting, because, who doesn't, then you might like the recipe below.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (1/2 batch of frosting, double for a cake)
4 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. orange extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix the butter and cream cheese well, add extracts. Beat in two cups of powdered sugar until fluffy.

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