I was going through my emails the other day, deleting like mad. In this household, we get five of every email, we have two computers, an iPad, and two iPhones. That is a lot of deleting. To make matters worse, when we arrive at either Bridgetown or Perth, the in-box is chockers after not being open for up to two weeks. On the night of arrival, I delete like crazy and, again, on the night before departure. Sometimes, I get carried away and delete an important email or one I had saved to read – que sera, sera.
Anyway, there I was one night or early morning (I do stay up rather late) deleting like mad and an email from Sawsan at Chef in Disguise caught my eye – it was entitled Pumpkin Espresso Bread. I have tried making pumpkin bread a few times and it has not been particularly rewarding so I was interested to see what Sawsan had done. I clicked on the link.
It turns out, the recipe was more like what we, in Australia, call a loaf cake and it sure looked good. I was interested, as I had taken some mashed pumpkin out of the freezer to make my current favourite cake – spicy pumpkin loaf – but I was up for something new.
Sawsan indicated that she had slightly adapted the recipe from Bewitching Kitchen. I clicked on Bewitching Kitchen who said the recipe came from Baker Street who got it from Pastry Affair. Now I was really interested.
Recipes that are all over the web are all over the web for a reason. They are good. I printed out the original recipe from Pastry Affair and then started to look at the variations each blogger had made. Baker Street added the hazelnuts to the topping (‘yum’) and Sawsan added cardamom and ginger and suggested choc chips – why not? I decided to do all of the above. It was perfect. Then I made the cake again. This time with my own adaptation – chopped hazelnuts in the cake instead of the choc chips – fab, too, although Maus preferred the choc chips.
The cake is not that different from my spicy pumpkin loaf. The spices are similar, the nuts are hazelnuts rather than walnuts but … The addition of the espresso powder is pure genius so hats off to whomever thought of that.
- ¾ cup* (150g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup* (245g) mashed pumpkin (or canned pumpkin puree, if you are in the States)
- ½ cup* (118ml) vegetable oil
- ¼ cup* (59ml) milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups* (188g) plain flour (All purpose)
- 1½ tsp bi-carb (baking) soda
- 1 tbs** espresso powder (Any fine ground coffee would work. Instant coffee may also work but I haven’t tried it.)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cardamom***
- ½ tsp ginger powder***
- ¼ cup dark choc chips or ½ cup chopped hazelnuts****
- 3 tbs** brown sugar, packed
- ½ tsp espresso powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts – optional but I wouldn’t skip the nuts; they make the cake too fab for words.
*These are American 8 fluid ounce (237 mil) cups. In Australia, we use 250 mil cups. If you don’t have American cups or digital scales, use your Australian metric cups. They are not that different and as long as you use the same measurement throughout, all should be fine.
**These are 15 mil tablespoons.
*** These spices are optional. They were Sawsan’s variation.
****Choose one or the other or neither – all will be good.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Line a 23cm x13cm (or thereabouts) loaf pan with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, bi-carb soda, espresso powder, spices, salt and choc chips – or hazelnuts, if using.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the topping ingredients.
- Add the flour to the sugar and pumpkin mixture and fold to combine.
- Spread batter into prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the batter.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before cutting and serving.