Pumpkin and Almond Chocolate Cake

Harlequin squashI’ve wanted to bake this week but having run out of butter as well as ideas I was stumped. Then came to me some inspiration from a lonely baby pumpkin sitting at the bottom on my vegetable rack. Small pumpkins are known to have a lovely sweet almost honey-like quality. When roasted they also have a beautifully moist gooey texture. I pondered, could I bake a cake using pumpkin purée instead of butter? Or would I be ruining some beautiful and much needed ingredients. What do I have to lose?… I thought. And I’m glad I did because when all hope was lost, out emerged a sensational cake that could also count as one of your 5 a day! Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin almond choclate cakeFirst roast the baby squash whole in the oven for about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Once soft and squidgy allow the squash to cool a little then cut it in half and remove the seeds without losing too much of the flesh. Whisk 3 eggs with 200g of sugar until light and fluffy. Melt 100g of dark chocolate. Add the warm squash flesh (about 150g) to the melted chocolate and stir vigorously until completely combined. Add 40g of ground almonds to the sugar egg mixture (you can make your own by blending almonds or buy them already ground). Add 40g of flour to the mixture. Finally add in the chocolate pumpkin purée. Whisk everything really well together until the consistency is smooth. Grease a 20 x 30 cm baking tray very well and pour the mixture in. Bake in a pre-heated oven (175°C/350°F) for about 25-30 minutes, test with a toothpick to make sure it’s cooked through. Leave to cool before cutting into 24 chunks – delicious and (apart from the sugar) pretty healthy too!

100g chocolate (tesco basic) = 30p
40g ground almond = 40p
40g flour = 10p
3 eggs = 60p
200g sugar = 25p
Small pumpkin = 50p
Total = £2.15 for 24 slices (9p each)



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