Pumpkin Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Quince-Ginger Compote
December 3, 2010
Margaux says . . .
I want to make EVERYTHING in the November Martha Stewart Living issue. Yes, I love Martha Stewart. The magazine is beautiful and smart, and has tons of good recipes in it (most of the time). I realize that it’s not cool to like Martha Stewart, but I don’t really care! It’s the only magazine I get, and I’m proud of it. November’s issue was the best one in months…every page has delicious looking goodies that I can’t wait to make! This is the first of many things I’ll be trying out from it.
I absolutely love pumpkin anything, and make lot’s of pumpkin treats all through the fall. The goat cheese frosting is what stood out to me in this recipe, plus the quince compote sounded really interesting, as I’ve never tried quince before! You could do the cake without the compote, and it is very tasty. But the compote really makes the cake, I think…it adds a little extra sweetness, and is a nice light balance with the heaviness of the cake and frosting. The frosting isn’t super sweet, which I love, but for you sweet tooths out there, I would add a little more powdered sugar. The batter is very thick-not a typical cake batter. And it took mine much longer to bake than 35 minutes-more like 45. But the oven I was using wasn’t completely accurate, so make sure you check it at 35 first!
I made this for my Aunt Annie’s 70th birthday party, and we were at my mom’s house down in central Illinois, so I had to “rough it” while baking. I only had a hand mixer, and the lighting in her kitchen is pretty dim. She hates cooking (although her kitchen is beautiful!), so she doesn’t have all the luxuries I’m used to. However, it was lucky that I was there because she has 8″ cake pans, and I don’t! So it worked out perfectly.
I am definitely going to make this particular cake recipe a regular for fall! I love the addition of fresh ginger. I usually make a pumpkin cake at least once every fall season, and the one I’ve been using isn’t nearly as good! It would also be a good recipe to use for brunch muffins…plain, no frosting or topping.
Pumpkin Layer Cake
from Martha Stewart Living November 2010 issue
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans and parchment
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups solid packed pumpkin (from one 14.5 oz. can)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350. Brush two 8-inch round cake pans with butter; line with circles of parchment, and brush with butter. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Which together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp salt.
2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in pumpkin; add vanilla and ginger. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk, and beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down side of bowl as needed. Divide batter between pans.
3. Bake cakes until golden brown, pulling away from sides of pans, and until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35 minutes (mine took about 10-12 minutes longer than that!). Let cool in pans set on wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert cakes on to racks. Let cool.
4. evenly spread half the goat cheese frosting on top of 1 cake. Top with the second cake, and frost top with the remaining frosting. Top cake with some quince-ginger compote, and serve remainder on the side.
Goat Cheese Frosting
Makes 3 cups.
1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Beat cheeses until combined. Gradually add sugar, and beat until smooth and creamy.
Overly ripe quinces may not retain their shape as the simmer, so it’s best to use ones that have just ripened.
3 cups off-dry white wine, such as Riesling
1 1/2 cups water, plus more if needed
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 thin slices peeled fresh ginger (from one 2-inch piece)
3 lbs just ripened quince, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1. Bring wine, water, sugar, and ginger to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add quinces. (Add more water if needed to cover fruit.) reduce heat, and simmer gently until quinces are tender, 25 to 45 minutes, depending on ripeness of fruit.
2. Transfer quinces to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Bring liquid in saucepan to a simmer, and cook until slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. (This part took me about 15-20 minutes…you really need to cook it down quite a bit to get the right consistency. Remove and discard ginger. Stir in lemon juice. Pour syrup over quinces. Let stand until cool. Refrigerate if desired.