Pumpkin Spice Cake With Maple Frosting + Salted Caramel

With this fantastic layer cake, layers of pumpkin cake are laced with a delightful assortment of spices, coated in maple swiss meringue buttercream, and sprinkled with salted caramel.

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Cake

  • 600–650g butternut pumpkin or 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 180g unsalted butter, melted
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 50g treacle
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) Salted Caramel Sauce, to decorate
  • Salted caramel crunchy pearls (Callebaut or Valrhona), to decorate
  • Edible flowers (violas), to decorate

Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 70g light brown sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3–4 tbsp good-quality maple syrup

Honeycomb

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 60ml (¼ cup) honey
  • 60ml (¼ cup) golden syrup
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Instructions

Pumpkin Spice Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Celsius fan-forced) and oil or line two 15cm (6″) cake pans with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cut side down in a baking tray, bake pumpkin for 60-80 minutes, until fully roasted and extremely tender. Allow to cool completely before removing the seeds and scooping the pumpkin flesh into a food processor. Process to a thick purée, then press through a strainer if any chunks remain. There should be around 1 cup of roasted pumpkin puree left over.
  3. In a medium mixing dish, add pumpkin puree, melted butter, sugars, treacle, and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs one at a time until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and powdered spices, then stir into batter until just mixed. Take care not to overmix the ingredients.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake pans, weighing them to make sure they’re all the same size.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes in a preheated oven, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Place the egg whites and sugars in a heatproof bowl set over a small pot of simmering water, making that the bowl’s bottom does not touch the water.
  2. Allow sugars to dissolve, stirring occasionally, and heat to 65°C to pasteurize egg whites.
  3. Allow ingredients to cool to room temperature before whisking until pale, glossy, soft meringue peaks form in free-standing mixer.
  4. Slowly whisk in tiny 1cm cubes of softened butter, followed by maple syrup, until the buttercream is light and frothy.

Honeycomb

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, and golden syrup. When baking soda is added, the hot boiling honeycomb will froth and rise rapidly, therefore the pan should be large enough to contain it.
  2. Allow sugar to dissolve fully over low heat, then gradually increase the heat until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (150°C on a candy thermometer).
  3. Stir in the baking soda briskly to ensure that it is uniformly distributed. After the honeycomb has foamed and bubbled, transfer it to a large lined baking pan to cool fully.
  4. To keep the crispness, store in an airtight jar until ready to use. To use, shatter the honeycomb into shards using your hands or a hammer if the honeycomb is particularly tough.
  5. Although just 1/3-1/2 of the honeycomb is needed to garnish the cake, making a tiny batch is tough. The leftovers can be served alongside the cake slices, or saved for another time or used to adorn another sweet delicacy.

Assembly

  1. When the cake is slightly cold and the buttercream and salted caramel are at room temperature, assembling this cake is a breeze.
  2. By chopping off the cake domes and then cutting each cake in half lengthwise, you may have four cake layers in total. To avoid crumbs in the buttercream, use the base of one layer for the cake’s base and the base of the second layer (turned upside down) for the cake’s top.
  3. Place the first layer on a circular cake plate or turntable and frost the top with a thin layer of frosting, smoothing it out with a palette knife. Between each cake layer, repeat the icing process.
  4. Apply a thin coating of frosting to the top and edges of the cake, allowing pieces of the cake to show through for a ‘naked’ appearance. Allow for a couple of hours or overnight chilling.
  5. Allow the salted caramel sauce to trickle down the edges of the cake. Serve at room temperature with honeycomb shards, salted caramel pearls, and fresh edible flowers.

Source: The Polka Dotter

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