24 nov. 2014

Cinnamon Girl celebrates its 4th anniversary!

It's a day to celebrate! Cinnamon Girl is four years old!...wow, time sure flies by so fast! It's great to check my first posts and see how much I've learned over these years (bakery and photography-wise), yet the best part is to know that there's still so much work to do and so much more to learn (practice makes perfect as they say!).
My blog is still a small humble space, my special corner of the blogosphere where I share one of the things I'm most passionate about: homemade bakery. I don't aim to become a mega-star food blogger, one of those whose egos are bigger than their skills, I firmly believe that one little step at a time can take you further and make you appreciate much more every new comment, every new follower or simply a new 'like' you get when you post a picture of your new recipe on Instagram/Facebook, etc.
Now when I look back in time I realize that I couldn't live without my moments of peace in the kitchen (and sometimes craziness and stress cause 'that cake didn't come out as expected'), moments of total disconnection where there is no one but me, lots of ingredients and tools surrounding me...and my poor messy apron...well, to be honest, there are days when I even find chocolate and flour in my hair.
Managing a food blog is a daily challenge for many reasons, one of them (and I'm sure many of my fellow bakers will agree with me on this) is how time-consuming it can be: developing the recipes, running around the house (camera in one hand, warm pie in the other) like crazy finding the perfect spot with natural light, and staying up until the wee hours typing these posts. So being a food blogger is serious business, and knowing there are zillions of amazing food blogs out there, I truly appreciate all your comments and feedback. It's wonderful to see that someone has taken his/her time to visit Cinnamon Girl, read my occasional ramblings and leave a comment.
All I can say is THANKS!...wish I could send a slice of this mouth-watering Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. This special occasion deserves a very special, delicious and indulgent cake with a spiced moist crumb and a fluffy and not overwhelmingly-sweet frosting that spreads perefectly. I couldn't ask for a better cake to celebrate the 4th anniversary of my blog!

Receta en español aquí!



Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
(8 servings approx.)
- For the cream cheese frosting:
36 ounces (1020g) cream cheese, room temperature.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
1 vanilla bean.

- For the cake:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour.
1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp baking powder.
1/4 tsp baking soda.
1/4 tsp fine sea salt.
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice.*
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar.
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed.
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sunflower oil.
2 eggs, room temperature.
1/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature.
1 1/2 cups (approximately) coarsely grated pumpkin.
1/4 cup chopped walnuts.
1/4 cup raisins.




Directions
- To make the cream cheese frosting:
For the best results I suggest you to make the frosting in advance (the day before baking the cake) so it sets and firms up in the fridge. This is by far, the best cream cheese frosting I've ever tasted/made!
Using a knife halve the bean and scrape the seeds out. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer beat together the cream cheese with the icing sugar at low speed until the sugar is incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and paddle. Add in vanilla seeds and increase the speed to high and continue beating for 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy and smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to use. It can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
NOTE: With this recipe there's enough frosting to fill, frost and make decorations.



- To make the pumpkin cake:
First of all, grate the fresh pumpkin (peeled, seeds and stringy pulp removed) and strain all the excess liquid, this is extremely important as we don't want our cake to be so much dense it won't rise...otherwise we'll get some kind of weird sunken pudding cake. So I'm going to say it again: strain through a sieve as much as you can!
Grease two 6in x 4in (15cm x 10 cm) round baking pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper circles.
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
In a large mixing bowl sift together the flours, baking powder, salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and whisk the mixture to combine all ingredients.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar and oil on medium-high speed until well combined, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer frequently and scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Blend in the eggs one at a time adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter.
Add in the flour mixture in three parts (on low speed), alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula to ensure you do not overmix.
Fold in the grated pumpkin and walnuts.
Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and sprinkle the raisins evenly over the batter.
Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, around 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the cake as it bakes cause depending on your oven and how much pumpkin you add it will take a bit more or less time.
Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing them from their pans. Once removed, continue to cool the cakes on the rack, top side up, until they reach room temperature.



- To assemble the cake:
Place one of the layers, top side up, on a flat plate or a cake board. Using a thin metal spatula, spread a generous amount of frosting over the top of this layer, spreading it slightly over the edge of the cake. Place the next layer and repeat the same process.
Finally place the top layer and spread a thin layer of frosting on top and around the sides of the cake, this is what we usually call crumb-coating a cake. A crumb coat traps the loose crumbs on the surface of the cake so the final coat of frosting will look pefectly clean and smooth. Use an offset metal spatula (a little longer than the cake you're working on) to apply and smooth the frosting. Refrigerate the cake (uncovered) for 30 minutes before applying the final frosting coat. 
Finish with a decorative pattern using a closed star tip.



*How to make Pumpkin Pie Spice:
3 tbsp ground cinnamon.
2 tsp ground ginger.
2 tsp ground nutmeg.
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice.
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves.

Mix the spices together in a small bowl and stir until all ingredients are combined. Store the mixture in a clean jar or a spice container.






12 comentarios:

  1. Happy 4th blogaversary! What a gorgeous cake. Maintaining a regular food blog is definitely all-consuming – a full time job in some respects! I really admire that you have kept it going for a full four years. Here's to many more!

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    1. Thank you so much Lucy! Glad I found your blog and your delicious recipes. :-)
      If it's quite hard to find time for my blog posts I can't imagine how it is when you also have to take care of the kids, so two thumbs up for you, you're my hero! heheh.

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  2. Happy happy Blogivesary, Gemma! Your pumpkin layered cake looks incredible and just the perfect one for the celebration.
    Ciao,
    Angie

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    1. Thanks Angie! That was my first time making a layer cake with pumpkin and it tasted as good as the classic Carrot Cake.
      Hope to celebrate many more as blog buddies! :-)
      xoxo

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  3. Ostres Gemma, vinc un parell de dies tard, però... moltes felicitats!! Quatre anys es diu ràpid, però costa molt fer-los, oi? Comparteixo totalment amb tu la opinió respecte a tenir un bloc, poc a poc i bona lletra, i fora egos, que del que es tracta és de millorar dia a dia, i el que compte és quan veus que algú realment aprecia allò que has fet. Per part meva, dir-te que encantat d'haver-te descobert, i em seguiràs tenint per aquí de visita, i més si em reps amb un pastís de carbassa tan bo com aquest!

    Petons!

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    1. Moltíssimes gràcies Victor! Aquests quatre anys han passat volant però tens tota la raó, hi ha molta feina (i molts pastissos llençats a la brossa, jaja). Et dic el mateix, és un plaer haver-te trobat i descobrir el teu bloc (i m'agrada molt quan escrius aquests posts llargs tant teus! jeje).
      Una abraçada!

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  4. What a beautiful cake and a perfect way to celebrate you blog birthday, well done four years is such a big achievement. xxx

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    1. Thanks a lot Rebecca! So glad to have found you and your beautiful blog, I'm so happy to end this year with so many new food bloggers buddies like you! =)

      xoxo

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  5. Happy Blogoversary! Four years is a long time, and your blog is only growing more beautiful and engaging with every post. :) Congratulations on reaching this milestone- May there be many more to come!

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    1. Thank you so much Hannah! Means a lot to me that one amazing and super talented food blogger like you has dedicated such beautiful words to me. :-)

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  6. Una miqueta tard perquè vaig força de bòlit a la feina i em queda molt poc, poquíssim temps lliure per navegar per aquest mar de delicies culinàries però més val tard que mai: PER MOLTS ANYS!!!!! :) Un pastís fantàstic per celebrar una data com aquesta!!
    Petonets bonica!

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    1. Moltes gràcies Dolors! I no et preocupis, jo també tinc molt poquet temps lliure i a vegades no sé ni com puc aconseguir uns quants minuts lliures per visitar els meus blocs amics...i a sobre tinc un refredat d'aquests que no marxen mai i no em deixa fer res, tot el tia tossint com una boja! :-(
      Aquí sempre tindràs les portes obertes, pots venir quan vulguis i quan tinguis temps.
      Una abraçada!

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