Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Cake with Butterscotch Filling and Brown Sugar Icing

Wow! Could there be anything better than a combination of pumpkin, butterscotch and brown sugar icing? I brought this trifecta of flavor into my office and my colleagues, by far, gave this cake the best reviews out of everything I have ever brought in. Let me also tack a warning onto this post; this cake is very rich.

The cake itself is extremely moist to the point it almost melts in your mouth. I could probably have the cake alone and be happy but of course, why go half way? The filling has a nutty toffee like taste to it and the icing is a brown sugar, butter and cream combination that tastes like butterscotch was poured over the cake.

This recipe came from my new favorite blog, Annie's Eats. Let me just say that her website is awesome and that I have printed off more recipes from her blog than all of the other blogs combined.

Enjoy! xo - AJ

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup buttermilk
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling:
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 – 1 oz. pieces
3/4 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts (optional)

For the icing:
2 cups tightly packed brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 8 – 1 oz. pieces
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Line the bottoms of 2 round 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, as well as the sides of the pans. Preheat the oven to 325°. Center a rack in the oven.

To make the cake, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin puree and buttermilk and mix until smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase to high speed and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high for 30 seconds. With the mixer running on low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter, until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Immediately divide the batter between the prepared cake pans, spreading evenly. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

To make the filling, heat the cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until hot (do not allow to boil or simmer). Combine sugar and lemon juice in a separate saucepan and stir with a whisk to combine (the sugar will resemble moist sand). Caramelize the sugar for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to break up any lumps. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the hot cream, one half at a time. Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring to incorporate completely before adding the next piece. Cool in the refrigerator 45 minutes. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes, until light (but not fluffy). Add the chopped nuts and stir to incorporate. Set aside.

To make the icing, heat the brown sugar, heavy cream, 2 – 1 oz. pieces of butter, and cream of tartar in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, while bringing the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to continue boiling while stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Transfer the bubbling hot mixture to a stainless steel bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding. Place the cooled mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, adding the 6 remaining pieces of butter one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for an additional 1 minute until light and fluffy.
To assemble the cake, place one of the pumpkin cake layers on a cake platter or a cardboard cake circle. Spread butterscotch filling evenly on top of cake. Top with remaining layer of cake, pressing down firmly. Frost sides and top of cake with brown sugar icing. Use remaining frosting to pipe decorative accents onto top and bottom edge of the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Source: Annie's Eats and adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

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