The smell of woodsmoke in the air and the crisp bite of autumn chill nipping at my nose send me into paroxysms of glee every year.
They used to remind me of camping trips, building fires to roast marshmallows over, and making big meals to freeze for the nights when you just want to shove something in the oven and be done with it.
Now they just make me jealous that I don't have a wood stove in my house and that my kitchen is freezing cold from June to October unless I'm baking up a storm. And even then it's a challenge to see how long I can stand the cold in there, or how many layers I have to put on, before I get hypothermia. And that the marshmallows here are not jet-puffed and there are no graham crackers and therefore no s'mores and this makes me sad. I cry. Mom, send graham crackers and marshmallows please!!
Ok, back to reality. The reality that I am still seasonally challenged.
My internal body/weather clock keeps telling me Thanksgiving should be around the corner, and it isn't helping that the grocery stores are flooded with all kinds of root veggies and squashes. Yum, orange food.
So instead of making the traditional pumpkin pie, I've made a kumara (sweet potato) cake!
You could also freeze this cake (un-iced), and just warm it up and serve with custard on a chilly rainy night.
Golden Kumara Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups peeled & grated golden kumara (about 2 medium kumara)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
- 1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 250g cream cheese, softened
- 30g butter, softened
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 170 C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform pan with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cardamom. Stir in sugar, kumara, nuts and raisins/sultanas.
- In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil and orange juice until the mixture has emulsified. Stir this egg mixture into the kumara mixture.
- Pour into prepared baking tin and bake for 50 or so minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.
- While the cake is baking, make the frosting: combine softened cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and orange juice together in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.