The blog has taken a back seat since the turn of the year, and so has baking if I’m being honest. I’m not even going to apologise, I’ve just been busy and concentrating on other facets of my life. I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff planned in though, so do stick with me. First up is something we quickly put together after getting back from a long weekend in Bath. It was mid afternoon on a dreary Monday and we wanted something we could snack on in the evenings that would help satisfy a sweet craving without being too heavy. My girlfriend is also half way through a vegan month, so it had to be something dairy free. A while ago I tried making a courgette loaf that didn’t particularly hold up, but this one works much better.
We’re well into British Summer Time and every now and then, between the heavy rainstorms, the sun has been showing itself. This means I want fresher, less rich bakes. With more fruity and floral flavours. Last year I made an Earl Grey and Poppy Seed loaf for the people across at Realm & Empire, and I wanted to do something similar this year. Raspberry & Earl Grey aren’t necessarily the first things you’d match together, but they complement each other perfectly and with a little lemon rind mixed through you get that fresh but floral taste I’d been craving.
Pumpkin season is not over yet. It’s thanksgiving for you guys across in the US this week, right? That makes me feel better about baking with the stuff. I’d originally hoped to do some things in the run up to Halloween, but without my own place and baking stuff it ended up not working. On my list, as well as the more standard pumpkin pie, was a Pumpkin Loaf with Cinnamon Drizzle. What I’ve ended up doing was a Pumpkin Loaf with a cinnamon swirl (see here for similar) and stuffed with pecans then drizzled with icing. It was good, really good. Oh and I baked it in my still broken oven, which means I’ll be doing it again soon to make sure I get the temperatures and times exactly right.
Just a month or so ago everyone started raving about pumpkin spiced latters again, yawn. I’m not a coffee fan, and even if I was, places like starbucks aren’t exactly my cup of tea. I typed that, I realised what I’d done, I then took a sip of my tea. Tea > Coffee, there, I said it. But yes, I do however love cinnamon, as I wittered on enough in the last post, I’ll save you from that again. I also discovered that the Tesco at the end of my road sells tinned pumpkin, something that I struggled to find in the entirety of Leeds city center (it also sells buttermilk, which I could only grab from M&S in leeds). This is all great news, so it meant I got to finally bake up some pumpkin goodness.
I came across a recipe for a tray bake, here, added some pecans, the cinnamon “swirl” and turned it into a loaf. I bought the loaf in to work for the Children in Need Bake Off, to find I was the only one who had. Er, oops? But it at least helped raise a little for charity.
Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Loaf
Author: The Bearded Baker
- • 110g margarine
- • 220g dark brown soft sugar
- • 135g bread flour
- • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- • ½ teaspoon baking powder
- • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • 175g tinned pumpkin
- • 2 eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to: 180°C and either grease or line a loaf tin.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer (or by hand) cream together the margarine and the sugar.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. (Optional – if you want to do the swirl, mix some cinnamon with brown sugar. Add half the batter, spread some of the cinnamon sugar mix on top then pour the rest of the cake batter on top of this).
- Place in the center of the oven and bake for approx. 35 mins or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before removing from the tin.
- Drizzle with icing if desired.