I haven't baked in a while. I made some pumpkin spice latte cupcakes for the Macmillan cake sale at work a few weeks ago but the less said about those, the better - did not realise that in America, espresso powder is actually instant coffee, not espresso; so the cakes were somewhat bitter. Oh well.
I was enabled with that recipe because I found tinned pumpkin for sale in Waitrose. This was some time ago; there was a big stall at the front of Waitrose festooned in stars and stripes with some sign-based encouragement to eat American-style: maple syrup, pancake mix, that sort of thing. It was incongruously timed, being roughly equidistant between July 4th and Thanksgiving. But I didn't stop to think about it too much.
I used my second tin of pumpkin to make this pumpkin loaf cake from SprinkleBakes. Now, technically there wasn't enough pumpkin in one tin for the recipe but I just went for it anyway and it worked out fine. Better than fine, in fact: I baked two loaves, intending to take one to the party last night, but I kept it for myself instead. It's so good, especially when smeared with mascarpone. I haven't eaten anything all day because Mr Z has had noro virus this weekend and I think I might have it too (significantly, I have no appetite), and am thinking the only way I can avoid the same suffering is by not consuming anything which can then be violently expelled from my person; but this pumpkin loaf has really tested my resolve.
I'm not sure that recommendation is as flattering as I mean it to be ("So good I nearly risked vomiting") but, there it is.
Heather warns that there is a lot of mixture. She's right. I just about squeezed it into two 1lb loaf tins, but one was of the silicone variety and I ended up with a fat loaf where the mould had bowed in the middle to accommodate the cake. Both loaves caught a little on top before they were fully baked, so dense was the batter. But it didn't matter. Next time I would stick some of the mixture into a few muffin cases, though.
I think Bake Off* might have inspired me because I also pulled out my Dan Lepard cake book and had a go at two new recipes from that: chocolate crumble marble cake and orange cassata cake. The latter made it to the party. The rest is here, taunting me.
Having looked up those recipes online I realise now that I mistakenly melted the chocolate for the marble cake instead of stirring it in, chocolate chip style. This explains why that bit of the cake is so dense. Je ne regrette rien.
* SOB. Now finished forever.