This pumpkin ganache spiced cake with cardamom foam will make even the novice baker look like a 5 star pro!
A spiced cake with rye flour, Guinness and molasses, pumpkin ganache with white chocolate and cardamom and coconut cream foam is nothing short of Grand!
As Autumn approaches, days grow shorter, and holiday celebrations begin to occupy the mind; we naturally ponder exciting menus we hope to share with friends and family. Nothing tastes more like October, November and December than dark, rich, spices in a dessert. This cake is so rich with holiday-season flavors that it is sure to become a favorite to make again and again each Autumn and Winter season.
Pumpkin is almost always at the forefront of many holiday menu ideas, but what if you wanted to create a dessert that looks and tastes so spectacular that you would serve it to royalty! Or… how about maybe just impress a professional chef you’re having over for dinner, as I did when I first made this dessert!
Since I live in the countryside, nestled between the nation’s capital and the Chesapeake Bay, harvest season for crops such as pumpkin and corn are all around me. My favorite thing to do at the onset of autumn it to take my grandchildren to a pumpkin patch to pic their own pumpkin to take home, and one for grandma to make something yummy.
I decided to experiment on my little ones, by using them as the taste samplers for the pumpkin ganache that would go into the finale of this beautiful dessert. How could they not love it, with pumpkin, white chocolate, cream and pumpkin spices, I would just tell them it’s a pudding, after all, a ganache sure tastes like a pudding to me. Oh my gosh was it a hit!
Spiced Cake would be the next part I would make ahead of time, and sample the finished cake to see if it would need tweaking. Never doing that again. I nearly ate them all! Sure there would be beer in the cake. Like, who puts beer in a cake? Guinness isn’t just a beer, it is rich with dark, molasses notes that were sure to add depth to this cake.
But, why not add little more molasses, to deepen the rich offerings from the Guinness, brown sugar too, instead of regular sugar. Starting to get the idea how delicious this cake is going to be? White pepper for a bit of a bite, Bourbon or rum to tease the tastebuds, and a little rye flour to give it a bit more of a nutty flavor than white flour alone will offer. Yep! This cake is too darn delicious.
What is a foam? Honestly, its really just this fancy way of putting a splash or a drizzle of more flavor on either sweet of savory dishes. How? Mix up what ever the flavor, broth, sauce or cream is you want, toss it into a steel cylinder, fitted with an N20 cartridge, nitrous oxide, and poof, it turns the contents into the consistency of a whipped cream, or lacy foam.
Really it is just a cool kitchen toy, for making sauces and creams look beautiful on the plate. Think of it as your DIY can of whipped ‘whatever’! Cardamom spice in a sweetened whipping cream was exactly the extra splash of exotic panache I wanted for this very elegant, yet simple dessert.
There is another cool way to display cream or custard textured ingredients onto a plate and it is called a quenelle method: a technique which makes a three-sided oval shape out of a soft, moldable component, like ice cream or pate substance, simply by scooping the cream back and forth from one spoon to another, turning it slightly as it goes back and forth. A beautiful oval cream to place on top this beautiful cake.
Well, are you ready to make this decadent dessert? There are three separate parts to making this fancy dessert. While each is not difficult, doing them all at the same time can be a little time consuming, which is why I make each component at different times, so when ready to assemble, it will seem like an easy dessert.
How To Use Canning Lids As Cake Pans
Since I have a large family I often prefer to make very small individual tarts or cakes for a family gathering. It makes serving them tidy and easy, and there is less waste than cutting into a large cake or pie and having them look a sloppy mess or begin to dry out.
Mini tart or cake pans can be very expensive, sometimes upwards of $10.00 per pan. So, my new favorite way to make affordable, easy to serve individual desserts is by using the lids of a Mason Jar!
Yep! The lid!! These lids are designed to withstand heat when canning and immersing in boiling water, which makes them perfect to withstand the heat of the oven.
Simply invert the lid in the metal ring so it is upside down, pressing the rubber ring to the bottom of the ring. Bake. When the cakes of tarts are cool, simply pop them out.
- Baking soda
- Rye flour
- Unbleached flour
- White pepper
- Baking powder
- Brown sugar
- Fresh ginger
- Bourbon or rum
- Coconut oil
- White chocolate
- Pumpkin puree
- Whipping cream
- Pumpkin spice mix
- Coconut milk
- Mason Jar Lids – the wide mouth size, or removable bottom tart pans
- Sauce pan
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Plastic wrap
- Mixing bowls
- Stove top or burner
- Spoons for shaping quenelles
- Foaming cartridge – optional
- Hand mixer
Pumpkin Ganache Spiced Cake with Cardamom CreamCourse: DessertDifficulty: Complex
Autumn’s rich flavors of warm spices and molasses with a pumpkin ganache and cardamom foam.
- CAKE INGREDIENTS
Molasses – 1 cup
Guinness – 1 cup
Baking soda – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Flour – 1/2 cups, regular and 1 1/2 cup rye flour
Spice mix – 1 teaspoon each – ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg
White Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Eggs – 3, separated, whip egg whites until light but don’t over beat
Brown sugar – 1 cup
Butter – 8 tablespoons, melted/cooled
- PUMPKIN GANACHE INGREDIENTS
White Chocolate – 16 ounces, melted
Pumpkin puree – 3/4 cup
Whipping cream – 3/4 cup
Butter – 6 ounces, soft/room temp.
Pumpkin spice mix – 4 teaspoons
Salt – 1 teaspoon
- CREAM INGREDIENTS
Whipping cream – 1 cup
Cardamom – 1 teaspoon
Confectionary sugar – 2 tablespoons
- CAKE PREPARATION
- Preheat oven to 350. Nonstick spray pan or pans
- Simmer molasses and Guinness in a pan twice its depth, until incorporated. Stir in baking soda carefully, and don’t worry when it bubbles and rises like a science experiment. Cool.
- In one bowl, mix flour, spices, salt and baking powder. In a separate larger bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in butter and cooled molasses mixture into the egg mixture.
- Fold in dry ingredients until lightly blended. Fold in whipped egg whites. Transfer batter into prepared pan/pans. Bake until tester comes out clean. (Timing will vary depending on the size pans used.)
- GANACHE PREPARATION
- In a medium size bowl, place pumpkin puree, cream, softened butter, spices and salt and mix well. Add melted white chocolate and blend.
- Place mixture in a low bowl or pan. Press plastic wrap on top of the ganache, so it does not form a skin. Chill for a few hours or over night, allowing the mixture to set and become firm.
- Allow to set over night
- CREAM PREPARATION
- Whip these ingredients together until firm. Store in fridge until ready to use.
- Place individual cakes on plates to be served on. A large dollop of pumpkin ganache on top, followed by a dollop of whipped cream on top of the ganache. Beautifully ready to serve!
- Components are now ready to assemble. Place an individual cake on each beautiful plate. Using the quenelle method (instructed above), place a scoop of pumpkin ganache on one side of the top of the cake, then do the same with the cardamom foam, by either using the quenelle technique or be daring and go for the nitrous oxide foam canister (described above). A few shaves of freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon on top will made for the perfect topping!