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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Pumpkin & Chocolate Chip Tray Cake

Halloween is over, and I've just about recovered by now! I always go all out at Halloween as far as food and decorations go, which is an odd occurrence given my somewhat fear of going outside for Halloween (there is a strict no zombie policy on my Halloween celebrations due to my completely irrational and strange phobia of zombies). So, I found myself on the somewhat creepily misty morning on 1st November curled up in a blanket with a cup of tea watching Cinderella with some of my friends in Leeds, with patches of face paint, which refused to move with just face wipes, still on my face wondering what to do with all the pumpkins that I had carved at home to leave for Pete to enjoy the day before, and I found the perfect recipe inspiration!

These post-Halloween treats are really yummy, and while still a sweet dish, are quite a nice dessert to have after a weekend full of sugary chocolate and gummy sweets, with the savoury pumpkin taste cutting through in this dish. The original recipe inspiration I found didn't include chocolate chips, and was for a cookie rather than a cake, but I have tweaked the recipe slightly and added a few things to create the perfect tray cake.


1/2 a pumpkin (approx. 3lb)
2 tbsp water
225g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
170g light muscovado sugar 
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
400g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
450g dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp honey

Step 1 > Prepare your pumpkin

I know, I know, 3lb of pumpkin sounds like a lot - but once you have added your pumpkin, chopped into thumb sized chunks, to a saucepan with about 2 tbsp of water in the bottom on a medium heat until slightly soft, the size reduces quite a bit. Once your pumpkin is slightly softened and turned a more yellowy colour, remove from the heat and leave to cool for about 25-30 minutes. Once cooled, you can blend your pumpkin chunks until the mixture is of a smoothie consistency. If you are having trouble getting rid of the lumps, you can add a tsp of water at a time - the pumpkin is already quite watery after cooking, so this shouldn't be necessary, but we also don't want to add too much water to the mixture. Use this time to pre-heat your oven to 190C (180C fan).

Step 2 > Cream together your ingredients

On a medium speed mixer, cream together the butter, caster sugar and light muscovado sugar until combined and creamy. Add your eggs one at a time, leaving time for the previous egg to completely combine with the mixture before adding the second. Once the second egg is combined fully, add your pumpkin puree. and vanilla extract This will make the mixture look like it has curdled slightly, but don't panic, once the dry ingredients are added it will be fine! Keep your mixer on a medium speed while preparing your dry ingredients.

Step 3 > Prepare your dry ingredients

Sift your flour into a large mixing bowl, and add your baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Fully mix together with a spoon before adding the mixture to your 'liquid' mix a quarter of a bowl at a time, still on a medium speed. Once this is all combined, you can add your chocolate chips and honey until the mixture is a smooth, thick cake batter with no lumps.

Step 4 > Cooking your tray bake cakes

Line two rectangular deep tray with baking parchment or grease proof paper and pour your mixture in. This mixture amount will make approximately two 20 x 40cm tray bakes. I made one tray bake and then split the rest of the mixture between four individual circular ceramic pudding bowls that I had to make some individual portions. Leave to bake for 18-22 minutes, until they are springy but firm on top and a knife will come out of the centre clear.

These tray bakes are perfect to leave to cool in your rectangular tray before removing and cutting into bite size squares, which you could even dip in chocolate, or serving warm out of the oven with some whipped double cream and chocolate sprinkles.

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite thing to do with left over Halloween treats is - apart from eat them all in one go of course! And let me know in pictures what you dressed for as Halloween - I went as an owl!

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