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Monday, September 19, 2011

ACORN SQUASH STREUSEL CAKE



Cleaning out my freezer and found another packet of last season's vacuum packed roasted acorn squash puree.  Thanks to my FoodSaver, it was in perfect condition.  I was so happy because when I went to the local grocery store last week they were completely out of canned pumpkin!  I'd seen so many great Fall recipes other bloggers (probably those living far North of me) were creating - and even though it is still very much Summer where I live, I wanted to make a pumpkin "something"!

Last October my friend brought me some acorn squash from her Fall wanderings in Wisconsin and I happily roasted, prepared, and packaged a great supply for my Winter baking needs.  I thought I'd used the last of it but when I completely took everything out of the freezer to give it a cleaning...viola!  There it was.  I did a small happy dance and put it down in the fridge to defrost.

I found a few cake recipes that looked interesting - and with a variety of substitutions and spice changes, I think this one looks darn yummy.  The base recipe I jumped from was found on Food.com and attributed to Aroostook back in 2002.  It was titled Pumpkin Streusel Bundt Cake.  I sure hope my many changes result in a fabulous cake perfect for this overcast day (the first overcast day in quite a while).  It's nearly 90 degrees outside...but inside, with the a/c blowing and the sun covered by clouds, I can pretend it is Fall!


ACORN SQUASH STREUSEL CAKE
by Debbi Hook

INGREDIENTS:


Streusel:

1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter - cut into pieces
(note - I wish I'd put a couple of tablespoons of flour in with it - I think it would have helped)

Cake:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour (wheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup butter - softened to room temperature
4 large eggs - room temperature
1 cup roasted, peeled and seeded, pureed acorn squash
   (puree the squash so that the fibers are cut up and it is smooth)
1 cup regular yogurt (not flavored - not low fat)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1-2 tablespoons half and half (or milk) - more if needed to achieve glazing consistency

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a 12 cup bundt pan (I used Baker's Joy spray - but you can grease and flour if preferred)
Prepare streusel mix in a separate bowl by combining brown sugar and spices. 

Cut in butter until crumbly. (I used two forks to do this)  Set aside for later.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and both sugars until fluffy (about 4-5 minutes)

In separate bowl, combine both flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.

When butter and sugar is fluffy, add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated.

Add yogurt, acorn squash puree, and vanilla to mixture in stand mixing bowl and beat slowly until well mixed (it will likely look curdled, but that's okay, when the flour is added, it will all smooth out). 
Adding the yogurt and squash and vanilla

Curdled - happens a lot when I use yogurt - but it turns out okay in the end!

It is very loose so don't turn it too high or you will slop it everywhere (words of experience).
Be sure to scrape down the bowl and make sure everything is mixed in.
Add the flour mixture all at once and turn mixer on low.  Beat just until the batter comes all together - about 2 minutes max.

Spoon half of the batter carefully into the prepared bundt pan.  Smooth the batter and run a spatula around the center of the batter, creating just a slight trough...it won't hold long, but it helps guide the streusel mixture.

Very carefully spoon the streusel mixture over the center of the batter.  Do not let it touch the sides of the pan.  I used a tablespoon measure and worked slowly but I still managed to get a bit on the side.  I very carefully used a fork to nudge it away from the sides.  If the streusel touches on the side it will caramelize and make the cake stick...so slow and easy works best. (again, voice of experience).

Gently top with remaining batter, making sure the batter seals and covers both sides of the streusel. 
Smooth the batter evenly in the pan once you are sure the streusel is covered.


Bake for 55-60 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

Turn out onto wire rack to complete the cooling.

Yikes - I found that I must have not sealed the batter completely around the streusel because the now "top" of my cake was very buttery and sugary...obviously could see where steusel had leaked down into the bundt pan onto that which became the top of my cake.  Some of it stuck to the pan - and I very gently scooped it out and patted it into place.  When I tasted what I was scooping (hey, I had to give it a taste to make sure my cake wasn't under-cooked) it was very obviously deliciously caramelized streuselly buttery tasting.  Carefully move to serving plate (I use a cake lifter for that).

Drizzle with glaze after cake is completely cool.  Since the top of the cake isn't quite as pretty as desired, I made a thicker glaze to glamorize the appearance!  I put the glaze in a Ziploc bag, snipped the end and that allowed me to control the drape and flow of the glaze.  Turned out great!

I typed most of this while the cake was in the oven.  I wish you could smell how wonderful my house smells.  THAT's what I'm TALKIN' about!!!  Acorn squash is a great substitute for pumpkin in baking.  You might enjoy some of the other recipes I created using my gifted squash.  Thanks Karen, your gift has been put to wonderful use over the course of several months!

Previous Squash Posts:
Cinnamon Spice Cupcakes
Squash Chocolate Cheesecake
Squash Sugar Cookies

I love incorporating whole wheat flour, yogurt, turbinado sugar, and other interesting ingredients into older recipes.  I've been on a vanilla bean paste kick lately so I incorporated that into the glaze as well.  Sure is smelling good in here!!!

I ate the piece I photographed above.  It was outstanding.  The streusel wasn't very visible - especially as the cake is darker because of the whole wheat flour I used and the turbinado sugar...even though - you can taste the buttery streusel and it is truly delicious.  Incredibly moist.  Rich and spicy...in the Fall kind of way :-)  I loved it and the teen gave it a thumbs up too, following a taste of my piece.



Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

Everyday Sisters Sharing Sunday #19

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3 comments:

  1. Getting the streusel filling just right is not an easy task, especially since first try we do not know how much sinking and merging it will do. The cake does look wonderfully moist and spicy-yum!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tina is right. The first thing I thought of was, "spicy-yum!"

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks really delcious. Thank you for linking up to Sharing Sundays.

    Ellen

    http://everydaysisters.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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