Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Pumpkin cranberry loaf
This recipe was originally published more than 20 years ago in Kathleen King's first book, Kathleen's Bake Shop Cookbook. Since then, she continued to change this bread, recently adding fresh cranberries.
butter (for the pans)
flour (for the pans)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups mashed fresh pumpkin
or 1 16-ounces can of solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup water
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 bag fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit them. Butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
2. In an electric mixer, beat the vegetable oil and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one by one.
3. Blend in the pumpkin and water until incorporated.
4. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. When the batter is smooth, remove the bowl from the mixer stand.
5. With a large spoon, stir in the walnuts and cranberries. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
6. Bake the cakes for 1 hour, or until the centers spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip.
—Adapted from Kathleen King.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
This is the fallacy that many of us live by, says Kathleen King, who's a baker. She's on a mission to deflate this notion, to let people who are afraid of baking know that they can make cookies, cakes, and tarts without fear.
King is the owner of Tate's Bake Shop in
A case in point is her pumpkin cranberry loaf. "It's like a blank canvas," she tells the group. The pumpkin bread batter can be made without cranberries, and also without the other additions she tosses in, such as walnuts, chocolate chips, and raisins. She prefers the cranberries.
"I love the tart blast with the sweetness," she says.
She holds up a medium mixing bowl and a whisk. This - not a KitchenAid or another electric mixer - is all you really need to make the batter. Of course it requires some elbow grease, particularly when she combines all the wet and dry ingredients in the bowl at once.
King notes that bakers can toy with the amount of sugar in the formula. She recommends taking out no more than 25 percent, because more would begin to affect the texture and the moisture of the cake. (Sugar helps the batter spread. Skimping on the sugar could cause the cake to turn into a lump.) For a healthier alternative, apple sauce or apple butter can replace half of the oil. Or, if you're committed to fiber, she suggests replacing a small amount of flour with wheat germ, oatmeal, or flaxseed.
Kathleen King holds a pumpkin cranberry loaf she made for a
recent class. (Jon Chase for the
She's tried using real pumpkin in the batter and found it just OK, not thrilling enough to compensate for the effort of getting one, hacking it up, scooping out the messy seeds, baking, straining, and cleaning up.
As for the pans, use loaf pans, she says, or a rectangular cake pan or muffin tins. Decrease the oven temperature for the cake pan, since it's shallower, and increase the temperature for the muffin tins to give them a lift. The batter is forgiving and each novice baker should bring confidence and creativity to the job.
King has been baking since she was 11 years old, so she knows the importance of bravery in the kitchen. And because she's a shop owner, she also knows what truly fearful bakers do this time of year.
They go to people like her and buy sweets.