Chocolate-Glazed Pumpkin Cake
At least 12 servings
I don't much care for pumpkin pie, so I'm always looking for alternative
ways of using pumpkin, especially around Thanksgiving. This is a
spiced, nut-and-chocolate filled, moist, dense cake that looks beautiful
in its chocolate glaze. It will keep at room temperature for a day
or two, or in the refrigerator for a few days, if tightly covered;
you can also freeze it.
need solid-pack pumpkin to make this; do not use canned pumpkin
pie filling. I usually use walnuts here, but you can certainly substitute
pecans if you wish. I believe this thick batter might be too much
for a hand-held electric mixer, so I make it with a stand mixer.
A small piece goes a long way; this cake is heavy and substantial.
I always make this a day or so before serving, as I like to give
the flavors a chance to blend.
cups sifted all-purpose flour
1-3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup medium-fine-chopped walnuts OR pecans (see Notes)
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, graded "large"
3/4 cup water
About 1-3/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin (contents of one 15 ounce
8 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into thin pats
2 Tbsp. hot water
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
Few grains salt
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With
solid vegetable shortening, grease a 9 by 3-1/2 inch tube pan. Line
the bottom with a circle of wax paper cut to fit, then grease the
paper. Lightly flour pan, knocking out any excess.
medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking
powder, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. With spoon, stir well to combine.
In small bowl, combine nuts and chocolate chips. Place a spoonful
of the sifted dry ingredients onto the chips and nuts, then stir
thoroughly until both are coated with flour mixture.
large bowl of electric mixer, combine softened butter, sugars, and
vanilla. Beat at medium speed until fluffy and well-combined (a
minute or two). (Throughout mixing process, scrape bowl and beater(s)
frequently with rubber spatula to ensure a complete blending of
ingredients.) At a low speed, add eggs, one at a time; when all
eggs have been added, increase speed to medium and beat until well-mixed.
Batter may look curdled--OK.
lowest speed, add about 1/3 of sifted dry ingredients, then gradually
add water, mixing after each addition only until smooth. Add about
half of remaining dry ingredients at lowest speed, than gradually
add all of pumpkin, again beating only until combined. Add remaining
dry ingredients, increasing mixer speed slightly if required to
combine. Remove from mixer.
chip-nut mixture, along with any dry ingredients remaining in bowl.
With large rubber spatula, stir and fold in just until evenly distributed.
Turn into prepared pan. Level batter, then form a trench by pushing
batter higher on sides and tube of pan. Batter will fill pan about
3/4 full --OK.
in preheated oven 55 to 70 minutes. During baking, cake will rise
slightly above pan (at least in the center) and cracks will form
in the top. If top of cake is becoming too brown during baking,
cover loosely with aluminum foil. Switch pan back-to-front once
about halfway during baking. Cake is done when toothpick inserted
in highest part emerges with a few moist crumbs still clinging to
it. Do not overbake. Remove to cooling rack.
to stand 15 to 20 minutes. Gently loosen cake from sides and tube
of pan, then invert onto cake rack; re-invert to cool right side
up. Cake sides will be a very dark brown--OK. Cool completely before
In medium heatproof bowl, combine all ingredients. Place over
simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl);
stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. Allow
to stand until cooled to room temperature (test a little on the
inside of your wrist)--glaze will thicken slightly while cooling.
While glaze cools, place cake on serving plate at least 10 inches
in diameter. Cut 6 to 8 strips of wax paper, and gently place them
under the outer edges of the cake.
glaze has cooled, slowly pour it over top of cake; quickly spread
evenly, preferably with an offset spatula. You want most of the
glaze to stay on the cake top, so don't spread too much onto the
sides. Before glaze sets, pull wax paper strips out from bottom.
to store the glazed cake in the refrigerator, but if you're only
going to have the cake around for a day or two, it can be stored
at cool room temperature. If stored at room temperature, do not
let wrappings touch top of glaze, or glaze will "weep".
To serve, cut slices with a sharp, serrated knife; if you have stored
the cake in the refrigerator, allow the slices to stand at room
temperature, loosely covered, for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
If you'd like a slightly more decorated appearance, include
only 1/2 cup of chopped nuts in the cake. Finely chop the remaining
1/2 cup. After cake is glazed, before glaze sets, sprinkle top of
cake with the finely chopped nuts.
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