Dec 2, 2010

Thanksgiving blow out....

At the request of one of my best friends, Anne, I have to post my Thanksgiving cookings....

Asking the origin of Thanksgiving to my husband I got some convoluted explanation, but all I know is that its very like Christmas in terms of what you eat and you always end up in a food coma.

My American family is no different to numerous others in that we cook too much and eat too much and then fall asleep in front of the NFL in the afternoon..

Anyway, for those of you who don't know,I'm a bit of a cook... I love it, its very relaxing and I love to see people enjoy my food, so when Thanksgiving comes around its nice to go to town a bit... We all convene on my mother in laws house and there were about 14? I lose count!

My contributions this year were as follows....

Two turkey breasts one marinated in fresh herbs, butter and lemon zest and one in Cajun spices. I wont go into detail as at the end of the day it was just turkey!

Spiral ham (I'm lazy and buy the pre-cooked from Publix) which I then glazed with Bourbon, brown sugar, maple sysrup and pecans.... can I say yummy...

As sides I took

Sweet potato layer casserole.... a layerd cream, cinamon, sweet potato and pecan casserole
Christmas Red Cabbage ... slow cooked sliced red cabbage with cranberries, raisins, apple , red onion, vinegar, wine and spices...delicious wth the meats
Homemade Cranberry & Orange sauce
Sausage stuffing (dressing) balls - crispy on the outside and yumptious inside, made with sage sausage meat, cranberry, prunes and pecans
Pumpin Layer Cake - Took ages to make but was the star of the show
Lemon Bar Pie - Marscapone cream makes this super rich and yummy

I'm going to post the recipe for the layer cake as it was so delicious.. I'd like to say it was mine, but alas I am no baker...If you fancy any of the other items, let me know and I'll send you the recipe over... The lemon bar pie is my own design!


Brown butter pumpkin layer cake - by Jeanne Kelley

A gingery glazed nut topping and brown-butter-spiked cream cheese frosting are the finishing touches for this spectacular spiced pumpkin cake. Double the topping if you want to pile the nuts on as shown in the photo.

For the purée

2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium-large Sugar Pie pumpkin, cut in half from stem to bottom and seeded
Tip: You can substitute canned pumpkin purée for homemade, if you like.

For the cake
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk

For the topping

1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2/3 cup pecans
1/2 cup unsalted, raw, hulled pepitas
2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. table salt
1-1/2 Tbs. chopped crystallized ginger

For the frosting
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 oz. (1-1/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar

Make the pumpkin purée

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Brush a 9x13-inch baking dish with the oil. Put the pumpkin halves in the dish cut side down and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Let cool. Peel the pumpkin and purée the flesh in a food processor until smooth. You’ll need 1-1/2 cups of the purée for the cake. Refrigerate or freeze any remaining purée for another use.
Make the cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans with removable bottoms (or butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter the parchment, and flour the pans).
Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not set, about 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk 1-1/2 cups of the pumpkin purée with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk until very well blended. With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Gently whisk in the brown butter until completely incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake the cakes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto racks, remove the pan bottoms or parchment, and cool completely.
Make the topping

Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and pepitas and cook until the pecans brown slightly and the pepitas begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the brown sugar and salt and stir until the sugar melts and the nuts are glazed, about 2 minutes. Stir in the ginger. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool in the skillet.
Make the frosting

Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let stand until the solids settle at the bottom of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the bowl to the freezer and chill until just firm, about 18 minutes. Using a spoon, carefully scrape the butter from bowl, leaving the browned solids at the bottom; discard the solids.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light in color and the brown sugar has dissolved, 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Assemble the cake
Put one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread 1/2 cup of the frosting on the layer. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nut mixture over the frosting and top with the second layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Arrange the remaining topping in a ring 1-1/2 inches in from the edge of the cake and serve

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the purée up to 2 days ahead. The assembled, frosted cake can be covered with a cake dome and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature.

nutrition information (per serving):

Calories (kcal): 660; Fat (g): 36; Fat Calories (kcal): 320; Saturated Fat (g): 18; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 80; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): 440; Cholesterol (mg): 115; Fiber (g): 2;



Annie (Lady M) x said...

Bloody hell.... that looks very good. It is making me dribble! And I can also verify, after having been treated to your cooking on many occasions, that you are a shit-hot, butt-kicking cook!

Book me a flight to the US now!!

Clare and Gary said...

Cake was yumliciousness.. and I dont like Pumpkin!

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