Mrs Simkins’ Butternut Spice Cake

Posted: March 2, 2015

Combining butternut squash with butter, ground almonds, walnuts and an enticing blend of spices, this unusual cake is great on a spring afternoon with a cup of Clipper tea.

A food processor makes short work of the mixing and ensures the butternut is blitzed and incorporated fully. It makes short work of the icing too.

Ingredients

  • 150g (5oz) peeled butternut squash, grated (grated weight)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 110g (4oz) soft dark brown sugar
  • 110g (4oz) salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing and finishing
  • 50g (2oz) plain flour
  • 2 level teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 medium-large eggs
  • 110g (4oz) wholemeal flour
  • 50g (2oz) ground almonds

Method

  • Preheat oven to 160C (fan oven) or equivalent
  • You will need a greased 18cm (7 inch) loose bottomed cake tin or silicone cake mould
  • Whiz the grated butternut, orange zest, spices, cocoa and sugar in a food processor until fully combined.
  • Add the butter and whiz again to combine. Add the raising agents to the plain flour and sieve over the mixture.
  • Add the eggs, wholemeal flour and ground almonds and whiz together until fully combined and smooth. You may need to stop the machine a couple of times and scrape the mixture down with a flexible spatula.
  • Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for around 40 minutes, or until risen and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. You may need to cover the top loosely with foil or greaseproof paper for the final 10 minutes.
  • Brush the top with a little melted butter.
  • Leave to settle in the tin for a few moments. Loosen the sides and bottom with a palette knife, remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  • If using a silicone mould, sit the mould on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully before turning out.

Orange Glace Icing

The glycerine gives the icing a lovely sticky ‘stretchy’ quality and the fresh orange juice a beautiful fresh flavour and pretty tint.

Ingredients

  • 225g (8oz) sieved icing sugar
  • 3½ tablespoons sieved orange juice, taken from the zested orange
  • 1 teaspoon glycerine
  • Plus: walnut halves and gold balls or similar to finish

Tip

The icing sugar into the clean, dry, food processor and whiz to eliminate any persistent lumps. Add the orange juice and glycerine and whiz until smooth and spreadable.

Method

  • Smooth onto the centre of the cooled cake, encouraging it to drip over and down the sides.
  • Decorate with walnuts and gold balls whilst the icing is still tacky but has finished spreading.
  • Store in an airtight tin.

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