Pumpkin cake with lime and almonds

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I have been fucking remiss! Doubly so, since despite not blogging for a couple of months now, I have in fact had a recipe photographed and stored up since August. And it’s SUCH a perfect August cake. Not that you can’t eat a delicious citrus-frosted vegan pumpkin cake in spring, just that it’s so much more an autumn/winter thing. Luckily, it’s October – month of the pumpkin! Well, just ignoring the whole Halloween is supposed to be in autumn deal. In any case this cake is still – despite all the flaws of its maker – perfect!

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August is my mum’s birthday and so to commemorate the day my family all came over to my place to crash on the floor for a night and eat cake. Actually, Tom was supposed to be in charge of cake, but I received a text message from him the day before saying he accidentally got day drunk instead.

So proud.

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Actually though, I understand that sometimes you need/want to get day drunk. Sometimes you also have to make emergency cake as a result of someone else’s day drunk. Is cool.

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Anyway, the cake turned out pretty lovely. It’s based on a recipe for pumpkin slice I’ve been using for so many years I’ve forgotten where it came from. The icing I made up myself. The original slice uses just lemons and icing sugar for frosting, but I sincerely believe limes > lemons. For guacamole, for gin, for everything. Pfft, “lemons”.

(Shh. No, Actually I like lemons too, but limes rule so much more)

Anyway, now it’s October (month of pumpkins! – sort of) and since I last blogged I’ve done a huge presentation for uni, participated in a writer’s festival and moved house. And on Halloween it’s my birthday. Which is both horrifying and sweet. So here is a cake that I dare you to not want to eat right now. Along with a promise to be less remiss next time something like this is lurking in my to do list.

IMG_0762IMG_0755❤ These dorks.

Ingredients:

Cake:
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups cooked pumpkin
1 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
4 cups S.R. Flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp ginger
1 tsp salt

Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup coconut oil

For on top:
slivered almonds

Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil and vanilla then add remaining ingredients. Cook in moderate oven 1-1.5 hrs OR until middle of cake springs back when touched. Combine coconut oil and icing sugar. Stir until smooth. Then add lime juice. Allow cake to cool. Ice cake. Dry fry almonds or roast in oven. Arrange on top of cake. Eat cake.

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Pumpkin Pie Porridge

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I’m sorry. This isn’t really even a recipe. Just a suggestion, I guess, of how to make porridge even more delicious. And I’m sure there are plenty of other examples out there on the internet of similarly pumkiny oaty goodness. But this is the only thing I’ve been eating lately that isn’t some all-in soup concoction designed to ward off a virus that in the last two weeks has transformed my house into a den of dirty tissues.
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It was the autumn last week, and so the celebrate – and also to use up the last bit of pumpkin in the fridge – I whipped up this for breakfast. It turned out great! Warm, spicy and utterly satisfying.

Aside from using a fancy kind of “cereal” to make this, I think the pumpkin, maple syrup and spices really balance this meal. About once a year I get waaaay excited about cooking up a pot of oats every morning for breakfast, before realizing (on roughly the third morning) that it kinda just tastes like a big bowl of glue.
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But not these: no, Sir. The sweetness of the syrup is just delicate and complex enough for morning time and the pumpkin itself, though again not particularly strong, blends in perfectly to give the cereal extra dimension. I’ve enjoyed other fruits in porridge before, but it’s always been in contrast to the oats, never working together like this.
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Anyway, one reason I decided to share this one, aside from how much I enjoyed both making it and eating it, was that despite the plethora of sweet pumpkin recipes all over the blogosphere most of these recipes are American/Canadian. This means that (a) they get posted at the wrong time of year for Australian consumption; and (b) they often use canned pumpkin, which isn’t widely available here and, to be honest, doesn’t seem like my kind of thing. Fresh pumpkin all the way, baby!
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So, here’s to embracing all things Aussie autumn: cardigans, the only-occasional deciduous tree, and seasonal breakfast treats sans canned goods. Oh, and apparently none of these things. Apparently 30 degree days. Maybe wait it out til it actually is cardigan weather, but definitely, definitely try this.
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Ingredients:
1 cup oats/”cereal mix”
3 cups boiling water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
200g roast pumkin
¼ tsp nutmeg
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup sultanas

Directions:
The night before, or whenever you have time, roast 200g of pumpkin in the oven until soft. In saucepan combine salt, cereal, and boiling water. Heat on medium for ten minutes or until thickened. While cereal is cooking puree roast pumpkin (or mash as well as you can) and add to mixture. When mixture has thickened add spices and sultanas. Serve warm with extra syrup, sultanas or some nuts.