- Fresh Pumpkin Puree – 1/2Cup (150gms)
- Maida – 1/2Cup (65gms)
- Wheat Bran – 1/4Cup (15gms)
- Baking Powder – 1/2tsp
- Baking Soda – 1/4tsp
- Salt – A Pinch
- For Spice Powder – Clove1, Small Piece Cinnamon & Small Piece Dried Ginger
- Almonds – 10
- Melted Unsalted Butter – 75gms
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – 150gms
- Vanilla Essence – 1/4tsp
- Water – 20ml Or As Required
Making Pumpkin Puree:
Take a small pumpkin and wash well. Cut the pumpkin using a big & sturdy knife. As the skin of the pumpkin would be very hard to cut comfortably, take the help of men folk at home to cut it. Take a half pumpkin and cut it into 4 parts. Scoop out the seeds portion along with the fibrous part using a spoon or knife. Remove the seeds portion for all the four pieces. Take a microwave safe bowl and place the pumpkin pieces in it in such a way that there is some space in the centre (as shown in movie). Place a small microwave safe bowl in the centre of the bowl in which pumpkin pieces are kept. Add around 30ml water into the small microwave safe bowl. Now place this pumpkin bowl in microwave oven and cover the bowl partially. Cook the pumpkin pieces on steam on high power for 5 minutes and allow 5 minutes standing time before removing the bowl from oven. Carefully remove the bowl from oven wearing mittens. Observe that all the pumpkin pieces are cooked—carefully remove the pumpkin pieces from the bowl. Take a spoon and scoop out the pulp from the cooked pumpkins. Add the scooped pumpkin pulp to a mixie jar and grind it while the pulp is still warm. It is advisable to grind the pulp while it is still warm as it helps in easy grinding without adding any water. In between, scrape the sides of the mixie jar with a spoon and push the pulp inside and grind to get a smooth puree. Collect the smooth puree in a bowl and measure 1/2Cup or 150gms of pumpkin puree into a separate bowl.
Take a clove, small piece of cinnamon and a small piece of dried ginger and make powder using a mortar and pestle. Collect the powder into a jar and cover with a tight lid to retain the flavor till used.
To make the cake take a 6” diameter cake tin. Take sufficient butter paper, fold the diagonal ends and cut the remaining paper to get a square piece. Fold the square butter paper twice and then fold again to get a triangular shape and then fold once again to get a narrow triangular shape (as shown in the movie). Invert the cake tin and place the pointed portion of the butter paper at the centre of the cake tin. Now cut the excess portion coming out of the tin with a scissor. Un fold the butter paper and observe that it exactly fits into the bottom of the cake tin. Invert the cake tin and place the prepared butter paper and observe. Add some ghee to the cake tin and smear it to cover the bottom and sides of the tin. Place the prepared butter and stick at the bottom of the tin. Add some ghee on the butter paper and smear to coat evenly. Keep this prepared cake tin aside till use. Chop the almonds into pieces and keep them aside.
Switch on the oven and pre heat it at 180oC for 15 minutes. Preheat oven and start mixing the ingredients. Take a deep bowl (here I have used a measuring jug) and add pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, melted butter and vanilla essence. Take a whisk and mix all these wet ingredients to get a smooth mixture. Take a mixing bowl and add maida, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, prepared spice powder and chopped almonds. Mix all the dry ingredients well (crushing any lumps of baking powder and baking soda). Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to get a lump free batter. If the mixture appears thick add sufficient water (here it took 20ml) and mix well. Add the prepared batter to the prepared cake tin and level with a flat spatula. Tap the cake tin lightly to release any air pockets. Place the cake tin in pre heated oven and bake the cake at 180oC for 30-40 minutes or till the cake is done. To test the cake prick a toothpick into the cake and see—if the toothpick comes out clean it means cake is done. If cake batter sticks to the toothpick it means cake is not done yet—then bake for few more minutes. Here it took 40 minutes to bake the cake. Remove cake tin from oven and leave it in the tin for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes transfer the cake on to a wire rack and peel the butter paper carefully. Place the peeled butter paper on the wire rack and place the cake on the butter paper so as to avoid the marks of the wire rack on the cake. Cool the cake completely. Wrap the cake in a cling film and gift it to friends or cut it and serve. This cake tastes good as it is because of the spices added to it, but it can be served with a blob of whipped cream for the extra rich taste.
Points To Observe:
Prepare fresh pumpkin puree. Because of the pumpkin the cake gets a natural yellow color and a moist look.
Wheat bran may be substituted with any type of bran available. Bran gives a nice texture to the cake.
Almonds give a nice crunch to the cake.
The spices added in the cake gives a good flavor to the cake. Try to use freshly ground spices to get the better taste. Till the time of use cover the powder in a jar with tight lid to retain the flavor.
Use sweetened condensed which has been kept at room temperature.
While adding water to the cake batter, do not add too much water. Just add sufficient water to bind the mixture. Add little at a time and mix and if required only add more water that too in small quantity.
To make pumpkin puree pumpkins are cooked in an oven for long hours to get soft puree. Instead I have steam cooked in microwave oven and ground the softened pumpkin without adding water to get the same texture in a much simpler way. Pumpkin may also be steam cooked using a pressure cooker. Place pumpkin in a strainer and place the strainer in a pressure cooker with water at the bottom. Cover with lid and place weight and after first whistle cook for 7 minutes on low flame. This is a time taking process steaming pumpkin in a pressure cooker as compared to steam cooking it in microwave oven.
Remember to handle using mittens while removing any hot things from microwave oven as steam burns are very dangerous.
Pre heating the oven before placing the cake tin in it is very important—so do not forget to pre heat the oven or else the results would not be satisfactory.
Temperatures differ from oven to oven depending upon the capacity of the oven. For example the same cake batter when baked in a bigger oven of 40ltrs capacity, the temperature setting would be 130oC where as when the same cake is baked using an 18ltrs capacity oven the temperature setting used is 180oC---so bake a cake accordingly.
Pumpkin, bran, almonds which are used in the cake are good for health and so a cake baked using these ingredients can be eaten without any guilt.
Prepare sweetened condensed milk on your own as per the recipe given in my website and observe that sugar used in it is also moderate.
I have shown a small cake as my intention is to bake a cake and eat it the same day without storing—so that we eat fresh.