One of my favorite times of the year is finally here; yes you guessed it…Halloween!! This week has been all about Halloween; there are so many things to do for it, especially in the kitchen – the possibilities are endless; and I promised I would offer up some inspiring ideas to make this Halloween special for you.
So, after hours of slaving, to carve this pumpkin into something that remotely resembles a face, I had some yummy pumpkin leftovers and I wasn’t about to throw them away…no siree; and why’s that…because at “In the Kitchen with Kanta” we don’t believe in wastage, NO .
Now, as I’m sure all of my pumpkin carvers will remember, Tuesday’s recipe saw us use pumpkin in a savoury dish – ‘Pumpkin Butter Chicken’; but today we are going to take it all the way to the left with this sweet and tasty little treat – Pumpkin Passion Cupcakes …Yaaaaay!! But don’t be fooled, though it may not be as complex as the Pumpkin Butter Chicken, this cheeky little cupcake is full of flavour; packaged neatly in a tight little case. It might be small but it certainly packs a punch; and if you’re anything like me you would have scoffed down half of them before anyone else gets their hands on them; but remember ‘sharing is caring’…and I guess I care enough to share this recipe with you all, so that’s my good deed for the day. Enjoy!!
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Total cooking time: 1hour 40 minutes
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
- 280g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 110g butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 5 tablespoons brown soft sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 180ml milk
- 250g pumpkin, cooked and pureed
For the Cream cheese icing
- 200g cream cheese, softened
- 50g butter, softened
- 350g icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
First make your pumpkin puree – boil a large pot of lightly salted water; add the pumpkin flesh to the water and boil for about 25 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender when pierced with a knife. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor, in a blender or with a hand held blender. You can store any remaining pumpkin puree in the freezer for future use when making the same cupcakes, muffins, pumpkin pie or anything else with pumpkin.
Pre-heat the oven to 190 ? C. Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with cupcake cases.
Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate; then set it aside.
Beat 110g of butter, caster sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in colour. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree. Now stir in your flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the cupcake mixture into the prepared cupcake cases. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then cool them on a wire rack.
Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, make the icing by beating the cream cheese and the butter with an electric mixer until smooth. (DO NOT over whisk or the cream cheese will become too runny). Fold in the icing sugar using a wooden spoon until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and beat until fluffy. Refrigerate it until 10 minutes before you need it. Spread or pipe it onto the cupcakes and top each with sprinkles or fondant pumpkins.
To make your fondant pumpkins; Take a big piece of your fondant roughly about ¾ of it and colour it with red and yellow food colouring, a drop at a time, until you get your desired orange colour for your pumpkins. Pinch off however many lumps of orange fondant that you want, depending on how many pumpkins you want to make. Roll each lump into a ball; gently flatten the ball on both sides to form a vague pumpkin shape. Using a butter knife, mark/indent 4-6 evenly-spaced lines down the side of each ball; and make an indentation on top of each ball, with a little round tool; for the stem & leaves to fit.
Now take the smaller lump of fondant, and colour it with green food colouring, until it is the colour that you want. Pinch off small pieces and roll them into cylinders for the stem. Use your butter knife to cut out small leaf-shaped pieces with the rest of the fondant. Using a small (clean) paint brush wet the pumpkin where you have the indentation and press one leaf and a stem into it.
There you have it, your pumpkin cupcakes are ready to devour. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how to eat these; they will go down a treat with any beverage, so enjoy them before the kids get their grubby little hands on them.
REMEMBER – Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween, these recipes simply offer some inspiration on what you can do with your pumpkin, to make it more interesting and enjoy it in more than one way.
Kanta Temba is a cake maker and decorator. She is also the owner and founder of Kanta Kakes – cake shop.
You can find her work on www.kantakakes.com. Follow her on twitter @KantaKakes and Instagram @KantaTemba.