Monday, October 29, 2012

Change... This 5 letter word is a biggie. Something that is hard to accept, but inevitable. You know its coming, but still afraid of it. This happens to me every year. The change sets in so quickly, it gets harder to accept Summer is no more. As I look out of the window on my drive to work,   it seems only yesterday the leaves turned from green to mellow yellow. But today its various shades of yellow, auburn, burnt orange and reds covering the ground. The days have gone shorter and the long sunny days replaced by chilly autumn evenings. The weather’s unpredictable, it’s cold one day and colder the next. Berrymania replaces the grocers by Pumpkinmania. And before you know it its Halloween. 
In the hope that Summer is not far-off, I embrace this change,  welcoming it with these Pumpkin cupcakes and more such cosy comfort food (soon to follow). 
I find comfort in food, so I know I will wade through this season with steaming mugs of home-made soup, freshly baked bread, these cupcakes curled on the sofa...staying cozy, safe & warm. 

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Cupcakes (Adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar 
1 cup caster sugar 
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
4 large eggs, lightly beaten 
1 can pumpkin purée 
Handful of white chocolate chips 
Preheat the oven to 180C & line the cupcake tins with liners. I have used gold here. In a bowl mix the dry ingredients and in another bowl mix all the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients with the mixer running on low. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Carefully ladle the batter onto the liners and bake for 20-23 minutes. Cool Completely. 
1(300g) pack cream cheese (philadelphia) 
1 cup double cream 
Pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon & all spice 
1 tsp vanilla extract. 
Whisk everything together until smooth and has reached a soft peak stage. Either pipe or spread liberally on the cooled cakes.

*I have used home-made roasted pumpkin purée. The result is a much sweeter & dark coloured purée.
*Chuck in some pecans for added texture & flavour.
I also made made these from the leftover puree. 


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