This is the final cake for this week. Beetroot, carrots and courgette have been popular in cakes for years so here is one that features butternut squash. Butternut squash is wonderfully sweet so works really well in this cake. This is another gluten free cake but not dairy free. My sister adapted this from Queen of Puddings to be a milk chocolate and cherry cake. It feels quite autumnal with the cinnamon and squash but still works well in the summer. We made this cake for my nephew’s fourth birthday so my sister would be able to have a piece too. I love making birthday cakes, they are so much more personal. As this was a four year olds cake once the candles were blown out it was very quickly devoured so there aren’t any pictures of individual pieces.
This cake is a great workout for your arms as grating the butternut squash takes some time, I like to use a really fine grater rather than the largest, it takes longer but the texture of the cake is great because of it. We used milk chocolate as it was a childrens cake but dark chocolate would work brilliantly too. The recipe for the icing is another one of my favourites, it does take some time to make because it needs chilling but it creates a wonderful chocolate mousse type icing rather than a heavy buttery icing. Cherries are one of my favourite summer fruits so were a wonderful addition.
This makes a lot of cake mixture so feel free to half the quantities! If there is any extra mixture that doesn’t fit into the cake tins it makes great cupcakes too!
Butternut Squash, Cherry and Chocolate Cake
Ingredients (serves 12)
- 6 medium eggs
- 240g caster sugar
- 500g butternut squash, peeled and finely grated
- 100g fine polenta
- 200g ground cashew nuts
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g milk chocolate
- 125g fresh cherries, cut in half and stone removed
For the icing
- 100g caster sugar
- 150ml water
- 100g dark chocolate (75-85% cocoa solids), melted
- 100g soft butter
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line two 18cm/7inch circular baking tins with baking parchment.
- Whisk the sugar and eggs together (in a freestanding mixer if possible) until quadrupled in volume and pale.
- Add the butternut squash, polenta, ground cashews, cinnamon and baking powder, mix briefly to combine. Add the chocolate and cherries and mix.
- Pour into the cake tins and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and cool in the tin.
- For the icing; boil the sugar and water for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and mix until the chocolate has melted. Add the butter and mix until the butter has melted and evenly mixed.
- Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, at this point it will be quite stiff, then whip or whisk until it has doubled in volume.
- To assemble cover the bottom cake with the icing, place the second cake on top and cover with the remaining icing.
Enjoy! H x