Baked winter squash cake
I love everything made with winter squash. Soup, risotto, pasta, just baked in the oven, etc., but nothing beats pumpkin cake or slices of anything sweet. This one is made with the amazing Red Kuri winter squash, mealy like flour, dense like cream cheese, and sweet as candy. It makes the perfect puree, which makes the perfect cake.
1 Red Kuri squash (or something similar, very mealy)
80 g butter
50 g honey
40 ml oil
2 tbsp vanilla extract
160 g kefir
250 g cake wheat flour
1 tsp soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp apple spice mix
1 tsp ginger powder
pinch of sea salt
4 small/middle eggs
140 g demerara sugar
60 g candied ginger, cut into pieces
80 g walnuts, crushed
80 g juicy prunes, cut into smallish pieces
Preheat the oven to 180°. Cut the squash in half (leave the seeds inside), place cut side down on a pan, and bake for 40 minutes. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh, mash with a fork, and use 200 g for the cake*.
Line a 10 x 25 cm baking pan with baking paper. Melt the butter with honey and let it cool. Add puree (200g), vanilla, oil, and buttermilk/kefir and mix.
In a bowl, add flour, salt, baking powder, soda, apple spice mix, and ginger and mix. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with sugar for 5 -7 minutes until pale and thick. Sieve the flour into the eggs and mix lightly until it is half way incorporated. Add butter mixture, ginger, nuts and prunes and mix until fully incorporated, but do not over mix.
Fill the pan, spread evenly, and bake in the middle of the oven for 45-55 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. When done, remove and cool 30 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely. You can serve it like that or serve on a special occasion or give as a gift, decorated with some honey, walnuts and baked pumpkin skins **, all topped with some honey.
* Leave the rest to add to porridge in the morning or risotto, stew or a different cake.
** I hate to throw out food, so I made these beautiful decorations and also finger-licking good skins. Heat the oven to 200° and place the baked leftover skins (the one that was around the now pureed squash) skin side down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and place in the oven one level below the middle. You can add some spices, too. Bake until crisp and getting darker. Take out, let cool, and use.
Recipe and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s