Happy New Year Everyone! I can’t believe another year has passed, once again we’ve been handed a blank canvas of 365 days. I know alot of people make New Years resolution to strive to achieve something they’ve always wanted or even to just experience something new. For me, every year it’s the same thing, make some resolutions, work to achieve it through out January, lose sight of what I want throughout the year, come December, regret that the resolution has not been achieved.
This year, to make it a little more interesting, I’ll post my short list of resolutions on the blog and hopefully by the end of 2011, I can come back to share my success story. My list includes:
- Exercise more and improve my diet, obviously the aim of this is to lose some weight. Since I have started blogging, I have gained 5 kgs, I’m hoping to get back to my goal weight by the end of the year.
- Spend less money. As a result of my love for fine food, I think I have spent the majority of my wage on dining out throughout the last couple of years. So this year, I will cook and eat at home more often.
- Explore NSW more. It’s sad to admit that I have never been to many places outside of the Sydney CBD, so this year I have made it my goal to explore more of what NSW has to offer.
I will document my journey, hopefully going towards the right path. By the end of the year, you should be able to judge whether this year I had failed my resolutions again, or have finally achieved it. It would be interesting to read what other people’s new years resolution is as well, so if you have time, tell us what your New Years resolution is.
To celebrate this list (not really, I was just bored), I decided to bake something simple and can easily be shared. A friend of mine, Sue recently mentioned that she wanted to try baking pound cakes. Prior to this I have never even heard of pound cakes, which Wikipedia tells me the name stems from the original recipe of using one pound of each of the four main ingredients, flour, butter, eggs and sugar. I guess with it being a new year, I should also attempt to try and bake things I haven’t baked before.
I found a couple of great and simple recipes online, however I decided to once again mix and match recipes, coming up with my own cake.
This is by far the easiest and most addictive cake that I have ever baked. Piping hot out of the oven, I couldn’t stop myself from picking at it. However, once cooled each elements of the cake was much more prominent. The pureed roasted pumpkin imparts a rich fragrance to the cake, but also helped make this cake absolutely moist. I would be happy to just have this cake on it’s own, however I think the addition of the caramel glaze takes it to another level. This cake would be perfect to take to work for morning tea. Why not treat your work colleagues to some pumpkin and pecan pound cake some day, I assure you, it is bound to cure any Weekdayitis.
Pumpkin and Pecan Pound cake with Caramel glaze
Pumpkin and Pecan Pound Cake recipe
Adapted from Sweet Kat’s Kitchen
- 3 cups Plain flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups cooked and mashed butternut pumpkin cooled
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. Spray a 10-inch tube pan with nonstick baking spray then coat with plain flour, removing any excess.
- Wash and remove the skin of approximately 1kg butternut pumpkin. Remove seeds, then chop the pumpkin to 3cm pieces. Bake in the oven on an oiled baking tray for 30 minutes. Once cooled, remove and puree with a food processor.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sift again. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars and vanilla extract on medium speed until very light and fluffy.
- Add the sweet potatoes and blend well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and blend in the flour mixture in thirds. Mix just enough to blend the batter after each addition.
- using a wooden spoon or spatula mix in 1 cup of chopped pecans.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove from the pan and place the cake on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. (I was a little impatient, after 50 mins of baking. I increased the oven to 190 degrees celsius, in less than 5 minutes, the top of the cake started to burn. Patience is the key!)
Adapted from My Recipes
- 1 cup package dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 can evaporated milk
- Dash of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often. Boil, stirring constantly, 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat; add baking powder and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened.
- Drizzle quickly over cake.