Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Ginger Crème Carmel

Chris and I were going to have dinner at my uncle and his girlfriend's house a few weeks ago and I said that I would bring dessert. I decided that I wanted to have something autumnal. So I went searching through my many, varied cookbooks. A while ago I had subscription to Food & Wine and they randomly sent me a cookbook. I took a look at it and tossed it aside because I thought that Food & Wine's Best of the Best was going to be the best recipes from Food & Wine from that year and I already had all the recipes in the magazines taking up space on my shelf. Well, I pulled it down to see if I could find anything in there since I haven't looked in it and most of my Food & Wines got tossed when we moved. It turns out that it is the 100 best recipes from the top 27 cookbooks published in the year 2000. Wow. It's awesome.

So I found a recipe for Pumpkin Ginger Crème Carmel that is from the cookbook The Olives Dessert Table. It called for eight 5-ounce ramekins but I only have 8-ounce ramekins so I made 6. I think I should have left them in a little longer because they were a little soft.

I decided to decorate them with Pepperidge Farm Gingermen.

This one had a broken leg. I ate him so he wouldn't feel bad about it.

Looked mushy but tasted yummy.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Saturday seemed to be the first day of fall that I could really enjoy. I opened up the windows and let the cool air in. I sat in the recliner and had a cup of hot tea. I was just thinking of the season, the leaves, the crisp air. It got me started on all things fall.

My favorite fall icon is the pumpkin. I love everything about it. It's shape, the warm orange color, the flavor, the smell. I especially love pumpkin when used in baked goods. So as soon as I realized that I had some pumpkin purée in the pantry, I went in search of a recipe. Now this took quite some time. I own a pumpkin cookbook. There are many websites dedicated to pumpkins. Many people seem to think they have the best recipe for pumpkin x. I settled finally on this recipe (second one down on the page) from the Pumpkin Patch website.

This recipe had promise. The ingredient list looked great and contained things that were already in my kitchen. It was easy to make. It smelled wonderful baking. It tasted....meh. There was definitely too much nutmeg going on here. I would cut it down to a scant teaspoon instead of the tablespoon requested. It was so over powering. There is no pumpkin, no chocolate, no pecans... just nutmeg. Its a beautiful bread. Golden. Moist. Just too much nutmeg.

Changes I made to the recipe:
1) I used pecans instead of walnuts
2) I used apple cider instead of water
3) I didn't have enough veg. oil so I used 3/4 c oil and 1/4 c melted butter.
4) I probably used a little more than 1c of choco chips because I wanted to finish off the last bit I had. I used a mix of Hershey's Special Dark chips and Ghirardelli Bittersweet chips.
5) I do not own three loaf pans. I have one. So I used one loaf pan and one Bundt pan. Came out great. I did lower the oven temp because my pans are dark. (325° for the first 45 min then to 300° for the last 15 min)

I will definately be making this again, but with the change to the nutmeg. I was thinking of using pumpkin pie spice mix instead of the nutmeg and cinnamon. I'll have to play with it a little to see how it comes out.