Friday, November 13, 2009

Pumpkin Cake

Since I didn't have a proper treat to take in to my last day of work, I wanted to make something quick. And impressive. And tasty.

What did I have on hand? Pumpkin.

I also had an untouched springform pan. Normally they're for cheesecakes, but why not a cake? But, I was a little squeamish about making a pumpkin cake from scratch given my recent track record and short time frame. Pumpkin bread is pretty fluffy, so why not that?

I can't remember which recipe I used, but they're all pretty close to each other. Here's a big list of them for you. Take your pick.

Springform pans are generally a little larger than regular cake pans; therefore, it came out pretty short. To be honest, it came out pretty meh. So I made a simple, quick vanilla glaze out of my Betty Crocker. I've been meaning to learn how to make it, but was always kind of intimidated. Sometimes the simplest recipes come out the hardest! Now that I know what to do, though, I expect it to be a quick add for a lot of my baked goods.

I had some green frosting left over from a previous project (I don't know what, but it wasn't the Halloween cake. This actually came before Halloween.) and these awful, awful pumpkin spice kisses. They only taste good mixed with something else. So I made a little quick pumpkin-esque decoration around the edge.

It went over pretty well at work (and, I heard later, the next day). No one knew it was bread rather than cake. This is the perfect kind of thing to bring in: sturdy, travels well, keeps for a while, and easy to make!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween Cake

This Halloween was totally awesome. Hectic, but awesome.

Friday night I stayed home to get the house in order, and put the finishing decorations on the cake. The preparation ended up more work than I expected, but it was worth it.

Saturday morning was the Pumpkin Run. I'll be the first to admit: I didn't want to be there. It was early, cold, I'm out of shape (with a few extra self-conscious pounds to prove it), and far enough for me to worry that we wouldn't have enough time to get cleaned up. I was not pleasant.

It ended up I ran faster than I ever have. My time was a boggling 28:37. Under 30 minutes!! I'm crediting the local hills, since the path was fairly flat. I think I scared the spectators toward the finish line after I saw the clock and hauled it across the finish line (but for the record, the clock was under 28 minutes when I crossed). You can read more about it here.

We came home, got cleaned up, and started partying. People came and went as they pleased, but I loved having everyone over. Where's this cake, you ask?

Of course, everything was edible. I used the doll cake pan to make the "hill." The fences were pretzels stuck together with chocolate. The tree was just chocolate chips melted in a pastry bag and squeezed out onto a sheet of wax paper. The same chocolate (Albertson's brand chocolate chips, to be exact) held together the graham cracker coffin. And if you look closely, you can see the green fingers creeping out. The tombstones were fun-size Heath bars, cut in half, and decorated with white frosting. Oh, and the dark gravelly road? Crushed Teddy Grahams. They were cheaper than regular graham crackers, albeit disturbing to crush up. The cake was chocolate, like dirt, according to my husband. Oh and those pumpkin spice kisses? Nasty. Just FYI.

I also roasted pumpkin seeds from our carved pumpkins. Thirty minutes at 375 degrees, coated in cooking spray and Lawry's salt. I roasted almonds in cinnamon sugar at the same time, but really that's not the right method. I should have melted the sugar and cinnamon in a little butter on the stove. Que sera.

We had an evening of trick or treaters. My favorites were the toddlers who, at the start of the night, didn't quite understand what was happening, but by the end of the night were totally in to getting candy from the strange lady who was oh so excited to see them. Cute.

Thank goodness Sunday was daylight savings day. We needed the break!