Remember last April when the Austin Bakes group organized a big bake sale benefitting recovery efforts in Japan? Well, we’re getting the band back together again, and this time, all proceeds will benefit the Austin Community Foundation's Central Texas Wildfire Fund. This fund is providing support to agencies working in Bastrop, Steiner Ranch, Spicewood, and other parts of Central Texas affected by wildfire. The bake sale is this Saturday, October 1, from 10 am until 2 pm at six locations in Austin and one location in Round Rock, and there’s also an online giving page. With the day of the bake sale approaching quickly, I needed to test a recipe for a cake that I thought might be worthy of the event. This is a cake from the book Miette, and it caught my eye when I read the book earlier this summer. It’s an easy, bundt cake, and in the book, made-from-scratch pumpkin puree is recommended. I cheated and used organic canned pumpkin puree, and the cake was lovely. With pumpkin and walnuts involved, I expected a deliciously dense crumb, but instead, this was one of the lightest and fluffiest cakes with nuts I’ve tasted. It’s adorned with just enough chocolate ganache to make it special, but just a dusting of confectioners' sugar or even leaving it plain wouldn’t have diminished this cake.
It's a good idea to generously butter a bundt pan. To be sure the cake pops out of the pan without issues, slather plenty of softened butter into all the grooves and curves of the pan. With a well-buttered and floured pan, the batter can be started. Dry ingredients including flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt were sifted into a bowl. I combined a little whole wheat flour with mostly all-purpose for the total flour quantity. Then, in a stand mixer, eggs and sugar were mixed, and vegetable oil was slowly drizzled in while still mixing. There is a note in the recipe explaining that if canned pumpkin puree is used, some water should be added. So, the puree was combined with a quarter cup of water, and that mixture was added to the mixing bowl and incorporated. The dry ingredients were slowly added, and toasted, chopped walnuts were folded into the batter. The cake baked for 50 minutes, and I waited impatiently.
As I said, this was a delightfully tender-crumbed cake. The pumpkin puree keeps it that way, and the walnuts added flavor and crunch. The chocolate ganache was completely optional, but it was such nice, subtle added touch on top, I’ll definitely include it again next time. Due to the unanimous thumbs-up review, I’ll be baking another one of these cakes for Saturday’s bake sale.