Pumpkin Walnut Cake

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It is amazing how everyone has such lovely stories to share when they bake. But sometimes (well in my case almost every time), you just bake because you want to. Especially because there is something you are just dying to try out or mostly, because you have just the right stuff in your fridge and pantry. And sometimes, it just turns out perfect! This is the story of my pumpkin walnut cake. I made it because I just did. It is dense, moist and just scrumptious.

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For the cake:

  • Butter: 250 gms.
  • Flour: 200 gms.
  • Cornmeal: 150 gms.
  • Pumpkin puree: 400 gms.
  • Sugar: 350 gms.
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Baking powder: 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Eggs: 2
  • Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder: 2 tablespoon
  • Walnuts (chopped): 100 gms.
  • Milk: ½ cup
  • Quark /mascarpone: 200 gms.
  • Caster sugar: 100 gms.

For the ganache frosting:

  • Dark chocolate (70%): 200 gms.
  • Cream: 200 ml.

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Cake:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

Sieve the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and cinnamon powder in a bowl and set aside.

In a food processor, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy (about 8-10 minutes).

Add the eggs, one at a time and incorporate well.

Mix in the milk, followed by the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and incorporate.

Add the sieved dry ingredients, about half a cup at a time, and mix well.

Fold in the walnuts in the batter.

In a separate bowl, mix the quark/mascarpone and sugar until smooth.

Gently pour the batter in the bowl and smooth the top with a spatula.

Pour the cheese on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the baking dish and cool completely.

Ganache:

Break the chocolate in to small pieces.

Over low heat in a saucepan, heat the cream, making sure that it does not boil.

Remove from heat, add chocolate and mix with a whisk until smooth.

Cool to room temperature.

Pour the ganache on top of the cooled cake and smoothen the top.

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Voila!!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

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I have been super lazy for the last couple of months. It has been crazy cold in Delhi this winter, and all I can think about is slipping under the blanket with a hot cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I have been cooking and baking, just haven’t been writing about it!

My friend just celebrated her 30th birthday, and I wanted to bake something special for her big day. These cupcakes were just perfect, because after all, chocolate is her favourite! These super-moist gooey cupcakes were devoured at a pretty decent speed, and I was happy to see them go!

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You will need:

For the cupcakes:

  • Caster sugar: 1 cup
  • Plain yoghurt: 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil: ½ cup
  • Eggs: 2
  • Flour: 1 ½ cup
  • Cocoa: ½ cup
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Crushed peanuts: For sprinkling on top (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

For the Nutella buttercream:

  • Nutella: 300 gms.
  • Butter: 150 gms.

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Line a regular 12 cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together.

In a food processor or a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil and sugar together until creamy (about 5 – 10 minutes).

Whisk in the yoghurt until smooth and add the eggs, one at a time, while continuously whisking, until pale and smooth.

Add the sieved dry ingredients from the third step, about half a cup at a time, and mix in, until smooth.

Fill the cupcake liners halfway with the mix.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Cool to room temperature, on a wire rack.

Makes about 12.

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For the Nutella buttercream:

Ensure that the Nutella and butter are at room temperature.

In a food processor or a large mixing bowl, whip the Nutella and butter until smooth.

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To decorate:

Use piping bag with a large star nozzle to ice the cupcakes.

Top with some chocolate syrup and peanuts, if using.