Pumpkin Spiced Cake or when to break the rules

spiced pumpkin cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

I knew there was something…but really couldn’t quite gather enough thought process to find out what. And yet slowly whatever it was, it built up. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t draw. I couldn’t take any pictures and I sure as eggs couldn’t think what on earth it was that was slightly sitting out of alignment.

So I stopped. Stopped trying to put my finger on it and closed the lap top. Said bugger the homework. Put another jacket on us all and headed out. The rules of the afternoon, the time constraints, the blah, blah, blah. Yep, today they didn’t count, as today….there would be no rules.

You know why kids can play so beautifully, for so long, so uninhibited? Because their rules are different, and they don’t care particularly if they break them. If the row of animals isn’t put away before going to bed, life turns out, does continue on. If homework isn’t done on a one off Wednesday, doing double the next day is actually ok because the afternoon before, oh it was rather awesome.

So why was it, that it wasn’t until I had stopped, did I realise it was all the rules that were choking me and leaving me on edge? I have no idea. Really absolutely none. But on the upside I know how good it felt when we broke all the rules that afternoon in late winter and I have every intention of doing it again soon.

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Now this is a quite a moist, dense cake, that for me looked like a cake, but tasted like a pie, it kind of broke all the cake rules right there.

Looks like a cake, but tastes like a pie… this was a fine thing to realise indeed.

 spiced pumpkin cake recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

Pumpkin Spiced Cake

150g softened butter

150g brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cardamom

zest of a lemon

2 beaten eggs

2 tbls molasses

225g self raising flour

75g wholemeal spelt flour

1 1/2 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin (use less if you don’t like a moist cake)

Cream butter, sugar and spices together, add lemon zest, beaten eggs and molasses. Mix through pumpkin and then fold through flours. Pour mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake for approximately one hour at 180C, (or until a skewer comes out clean.)

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Love, Lavender…and well, pickles

sri lankan love cake recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

daikon pickle || cityhippyfarmgirllavander || cityhippyfarmgirl

Getting a daikon in my vegetable box was met with a little ooooh, now what might I do with that? I’d never cooked with them before, hadn’t seen any recipes and quite possibly I wasn’t sure I’d even eaten any before either. Hooray for delivered vegetable boxes I say, because it completely gets you out of any cooking ruts you might have accidently fallen into. It’s now a vegetable I actively seek as, in this super simple pickle form, well it’s quite delicious.

Little sprigs of lavender are constantly gracing my kitchen window sill. We have a prolific bush out front that produces and produces. Easily adding a little purple distraction to an other wise messy and cluttered tiny kitchen. Distractions like these are most welcome.

Now it had been awhile since I had made Sri Lankan Love Cake. Quite awhile. My love for anything Sri Lankan orientated hadn’t dwindled since I had last baked it, so there was a certain amount of nostalgic mixing on putting the cake together. I had scrubbing elephants in a river to think of, small beach side swinging hammocks to fondly recall and food. Rather a lot of delicious food, that really is something else.

Love Cake recipes seem to vary a fair bit, and as I’ve never actually eaten anyone else’s Love Cake, (sounds slightly raunchy doesn’t it) I’m really not sure how my version (s) compare. Online recipes seem to have rather a lot of eggs, which I haven’t used quite so much here. I have tweaked it a little bit since the last time I baked it though, and using the rose petals rather than rose water. I like this edition a little better and visually, well it’s hard to take a bad picture if something is sprinkled in icing sugar and showered in rose petals….I think even a sausage would look good with that combination.

Sri Lankan Love Cake recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl  copy

Love Cake

150 gms crushed cashew nuts (cadjunuts)

150g semolina

2 eggs

4 egg whites

150g sugar

150g softened butter

2 tbls rose petals

1 1/2 tbls brandy

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, brandy, rose petals, spices and cashew nuts. Fold through semolina.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks appear and fold into mixture. Cook in a square tin, greased and lined with paper, (or well greased bundt tin as I have here). Bake at 180C for approximately 25-35 minutes or until golden.

 

Armenian Nutmeg Cake

I had a vague recolection of eating this cake once as a kid. It had popped back in my mind and the kitchen wasn’t going to be a happy place until I knocked one off.

Boy am I glad I did. So easy, and quite, quite tasty. The yogurt in it keeps it lovely and moist, letting the cake still taste just as good about 5 days later, and the nuts give it a bit of texture. It does puff up quite a bit with the bicarbonate soda in it, so don’t as I did, open the door and to peak inside, as it will deflate a little.

Also where ever you are, change the nuts on top to what’s local to you. I’m sure a lot of different kinds will taste just as delicious.

Armenian Nutmeg Cake

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups s/r flour (300gms)

125gms softened butter

mix it all together, until it looks like fine bread crumbs. Halve it. Placing one half in a greased and lined tin (approx 23cm- I used a springform), press it down firmly.

with the other half add

1 cup natural yoghurt

1 egg

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tps cinnamon

mix it together, and pop it on top of the other mixture

decorate with whatever nuts are in your area, I used macadamias.

Bake at 180C for approximately 50 minutes.