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Pumpkin fruit cake

There seems to be a definite trend these days towards vegetable themed cakes. I myself am a complete culprit when it comes to experimenting with these more unusual textures and savoury flavours.

Close your eyes and imagine your grand dad’s allotment: the prize carrots, courgettes and squash. The enormous pumpkins set against the delicate herbs: mint, thyme, lavender and rosemary and the ever synonymous garden shed. The cleaner purer air is just a stone’s throw away from the faintly buzzing hum of the M25. Hardly Delia’s kitchen but a step closer to something really quite wonderful nevertheless…

Please find below a recipe for our autumn pumpkin fruit cake – proof that you can grow your vegetables (or raid a friendly allotment) mash them into a sponge and bake a lip smackingly delicious cake…

Pumpkin fruit cake

1 x 10” cake in 2 x layers – approx. 30/40mins
500g steamed mashed butternut squash
250g soft butter
280g soft light brown sugar
4tbs golden syrup
4 x eggs
500g self raising flour
370g mixed vine fruits
(4tbs chopped stem ginger)
Large pinch Maldon sea salt

Preheat oven to 160’
– Cream butter and sugar
– Add the golden syrup in a slow and steady stream and beat well until fully incorporated
– Slowly add the eggs with a pinch of flour in between each addition to prevent the mixture splitting.
– Stir in the mashed pumpkin and dried fruits
– Sift the flour and gently fold through
– Divide amongst the 2 tins and bake until firm to touch and golden.

Thoroughly cool the sponges on racks before sandwiching together with vanilla buttercream.

To make the buttercream: beat together 250g very soft unsalted butter with 250g unrefined icing sugar until very light and creamy. Swirl attractively and decorate with your choice of chopped nuts and berries.