Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The First Year (and Chocolate Pumpkin Cake)

This was a big week.

Our little dog Lupa spent the week in hospital ... having eaten something I definitely didn't make for her. I learned why pet insurance is such a good idea (alas). I learned that this particular Jack Russell is worth more to us than a few measly thousand dollars (eek). And I learned that the dear girl has a (quote) "low pain threshold" - meaning, of course, that she's a wuss.

However ...

I also celebrated the first anniversary of Easy Peasy Organic. (!!) I made cake, and shared it with friends. (Friends who forgive me for never making icing. I know they want icing. And yet I always just bring cream. How lame.)

I celebrated my exploration of who I am, and who I want to be, and what I think I can give to the world - all things that I've opened up to since starting this site. All this writing, all this photography ... it's got my brain fizzing.

(speaking of ... shouldn't I be drinking a glass of champers right now?)

Anyway. What I'm really trying to say is that I'm a different person - a more evolved person - now than I was a year ago. And it's all because I accepted my friend Steph's nudge and started Easy Peasy Organic. So if there's something you've been thinking about doing - do it. If it takes you outside your comfort zone - do it. If it involves buying pet insurance - *definitely* do it.

And now for cake.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
serves 8-10
loosely adapted* from Nigella Lawson's amazing book Feast
which features an entire chapter on chocolate cakes.

(*because when have you ever seen Nigella use pumpkin in a chocolate cake? or buckwheat flour? or rapadura sugar? ... I rest my case.)

The time
10 min prep + 30 min baking + 10 min rest

NOTE: Before we get to the ingredients, I must explain. I usually go against standard baking convention and avoid recipes that weigh ingredients out. Because most of the time I can't be bothered to drag my scale from the cupboard and dust it off and weigh this and that. In this recipe, however, I did weigh everything out because - get this - after you weigh it out you get to dump it all into a mixer/blender/food processor and whizz it together. The simplicity of the process outweighed my dislike of the kitchen scales. I hope you'll agree.

The ingredients
175 g softened butter
2 organic eggs
2/3 c pureed roasted pumpkin*
100 g unbleached plain flour
100 g buckwheat flour
100 g rapadura sugar
40 g raw cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

*I roasted butternut squash in coconut oil and pureed it. I don't see why you couldn't use canned pumpkin instead, if you prefer. Either way, if it comes out a little dry just add some more butter or a dash of coconut oil or a little water until it's a nice pancake-batter-like consistency.

**Try to use organic ingredients when you can.

The process
1. Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Line a 25cm (12") round baking tin with wax paper.

2. Put all the ingredients into a food processor or stand mixer or blender and puree until smooth and batter-like.

3. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25-35 minutes - until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

4. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 min, before pulling the cake (wax paper and all) out of the tin. Let it finish cooling on a wire rack.

5. Serve with chocolate icing or whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or pouring cream.

The cost
My 100% organic chocolate cake came out to be around $7.

So let's all raise that glass of champagne (or tea, as it may be) - and toast to ...
*the possibilities*.
Amanda xx


Paula said... [Reply to comment]

Congratulations on your first blog anniversary! Great looking cake by the way. Sorry the dog was so ill. Happy that you are doing so well and enjoying evolving and so glad that you are sharing this process and so much more with your readers.
Bless the day you entered into my world. Thank you. Cheers to this and many more great years of blogging and growing.

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Paula Thanks Paula! What a lovely comment ... you just made my day!

Bediels said... [Reply to comment]

Amanda, I love your blog! It makes me smile. Congratulations on your one year anniversary, so exciting! I definitely think you should have a glass of Champagne.. you deserve it!

My Pink Door said... [Reply to comment]

I will definately being trying this cake. Congratulations on the first year anniversary of Easy Peasy Organic. It's inspiring to hear that your blog has enriched your life so. And I must look into pet insurance!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Bediels Thanks Jen! Surely an anniversary like this one should warrant celebrating with champagne *and* a utensil drawer like yours ... ;)

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@My Pink Door Thanks Jen! You'd better leave your doors locked because I'm coming after that blue cupboard you just bought ... ;)

Steph Bond @ Bondville said... [Reply to comment]

Happy Happy Happy Blog Birthday dear Amanda. I'm so glad that you embraced this new venture with gusto and look at how much you have achieved in one year! Champagne and congratulations to you. I'm so glad that Lupa got through her ordeal. Our thoughts have been with her. Cake looks fab by the way. Next on the to-try list xxx
Oh - and the cream you bring is always always better than icing.

jenny @ giftboxology said... [Reply to comment]

congrats amanda.
i love reading your blog. hope that you continue to enjoy posting your delicious recipes and thoughts.
jen x

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Steph Bond @ Bondville You are my inspiration, darling Steph!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@jenny @ giftboxology Thanks Jen! You guys are doing such a terrific job, too!

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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