Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Ring


On Sunday, D and I are hosting thirty-ish people for a housewarming. Our freezer is full to the top spinach-feta filo pies, tartlets and muffins, all shaped like my one tartlet pan. I'm making a meringue pavlova tomorrow, but I wanted another dessert, and I can't make any more tartlet-shaped things or my house will become one big tartlet. Enter David Lebovitz -- acclaimed chef, lucky Parisian, and expert food blogger. His pumpkin-chocolate chip ring recipe looked tasty, but I had no applesauce or orange juice in my fridge. I did, however, have some homemade yogurt (thanks to my new Salton yogurt maker). So I took David's recipe and messed around with it a little, substituting yogurt for the applesauce and orange juice, altering some other proportions slightly, and doubling the recipe. I also added some toffee bits, which practically melt into the cake while it bakes. The result is an incredibly light yet moist cake that tastes rich with pumpkin and chocolate but won't break your calorie bank. I'll most definitely be making this again.

Here's my one confession about the recipe: David Lebovitz is a professional. He used to be the pastry chef at The French Laundry, an acclaimed restaurant, and has written several fantastic cookbooks (including The Perfect Scoop, which has the best ice cream recipes EVER.) The point is, being a pastry chef means that he's very precise in his instructions, and I'm sure he's right that following those instructions will yield a better, lighter cake. having said that, I didn't follow any of his instructions (see all my asterisked notes throughout) and my cake came out fine. Do as you please....but I'm telling you, my "wrong" way works, too.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Ring
adapted from David Lebovitz.
serves 10-12, or 20ish if you cut thinner or half pieces.

2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and blend with a mixer on high until frothy, 1-2 minutes.*

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir together JUST UNTIL MIXED and add the chocolate chips. DO NOT OVERMIX.**

5. Grease a non-stick ring pan. If using a regular ring pan, grease and flour to ensure that the cake comes out cleanly. Spread the batter into the pan (and as usual, other pans will work -- the ring does look pretty, though.) David says "spread using a gentle touch."

6. Bake until top of the cake springs back when touched, about 40-42 minutes depending on your oven. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

7. Let cool on a wire cake rack, then invert. Let cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

*I didn't use a hand mixer -- I just whisked the wet ingredients with a fork for a minute or two, until well mixed and light.
** I committed the sin of adding dry to wet -- and my cake still came out light and fluffy.


**Note: I've gotten a couple questions about how to make this pareve (non-dairy). The answer: subsitute David Lebovitz's wet ingredients for mine:

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup fresh orange juice or water
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg 1
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The instructions in this recipe are the same for a pareve version of this cake, as they're mostly taken from Monsieur Lebovitz himself.

2 comments:

Nicole said...

I saw this on David's site and thought it sounded great! I love that you 'made it your own'...something I probably would have done myself! I love using yogurt and buttermilk in baked goods!

Lance said...

This looks great!

It reminds me of a pumpkin spice cake recipe I have.

Granted it's not as calorie concious as this one, it's still great. I promise.

oven temp: 350 F
bake time: 1 hr 20 min

beat together:
3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs

add 2 cups pumpkin puree.

sift together:
3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger

mix into the butter mixture. bake in a greased-floured bundt pan.

I usually add more spice than is called for, and also throw in some cardamom, and use fresh pressed ginger instead of dried.