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The View from My Kitchen

Benvenuti! I hope you enjoy il panorama dalla mia cucina Italiana -- "the view from my Italian kitchen,"-- where I indulge my passion for Italian food and cooking. From here, I share some thoughts and ideas on food, as well as recipes and restaurant reviews, notes on travel, and a few garnishes from a lifetime in the entertainment industry.

You can help by leaving comments on posts and by becoming a follower. More than a hundred thousand people all over the world have viewed the blog and that's great. But every great leader needs followers and if I am ever to achieve my goal of becoming the next great leader of the Italian culinary world :-) I need followers! I promise, I'm not going to spam anybody. I'd just like to know who's out there and what your thoughts are on what I'm doing.

Grazie mille!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Carla Hall's Pumpkin Chocolate Cake is FANTASTIC!

A "MUST" for the Fall and Winter Holidays

Carla Hall's Pumpkin Chocolate Cake
(ABC's The Chew)
You have GOT TO try this cake, boys and girls! Carla Hall posted the recipe to ABC's The Chew as a Halloween treat. Forget Halloween! We made it for Thanksgiving and it's SO good, we're giving it a reprise at Christmas.

I did one little tweak to Carla's original recipe; she may have great luck melting chocolate over direct heat, but most people do not. Therefore, we did the double-boiler method for the ganache. And when you make the filling, be sure the pumpkin puree is very dry. Too much moisture in the filling will make it a little loose and cause the cakes to slide around. You can dowel them if necessary, but making sure the filling is tight will obviate that necessity.


PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CAKE

For the pumpkin cake:

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 lg eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
2 cups pumpkin puree

For the filling:

4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin spice
2 cups mascarpone
1 cup pumpkin puree (strained until very dry)
2 tsp salt

For the ganache:

3 tbsp corn syrup
6 oz heavy cream
12 oz dark chocolate (small bits)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
ginger snaps (crushed for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

Combine sugar, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Whisk dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Stir dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Fold in the pumpkin puree.

Divide batter between two cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Rotate pans half way through cooking. Test with a toothpick. When cakes are done, allow to cool in pans 5 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.

While the cakes are cooling, make the mascarpone filling. Beat mascarpone and pumpkin puree until blended, then add pumpkin spice, salt, and powdered sugar. Mix at high speed until blended, about 1 minute. Once fully combined, add vanilla and beat another 30 seconds.

Once cakes have completely cooled, cut through each horizontally with a serrated knife, making a total of four thin layers. Spread the filling evenly between the layers.

Once assembled, transfer the cake to a cake stand lined with parchment around the edges (to keep stand clean.)

In a double boiler over medium heat, combine corn syrup and cream and bring to a simmer. Add the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

Pour over cake and garnish with crushed ginger snaps.

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