Our last weekend at the bungalow, I bought a giant Hokkaido (Red Kuri) pumpkin from the stoop of a house in the town. I roasted it, peeled it, and stored it in a tub in the fridge. So far, it’s been made into pumpkin snickerdoodles, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, and, now, two loaves of pumpkin bread.
As much as I love that perfectly fall orange hue that adding pumpkin into everything results in, I was pretty excited to be scraping the bottom of my pumpkin puree (it was a €1 bargain pumpkin) yesterday as I baked the loaf for Luisa’s kita’s fall fest. But this pumpkin bread? Well, it makes me not hate myself for buying another pumpkin over the weekend… and glad that I baked a second one today for us to enjoy.
Pumpkin Bread with a Cinnamon Crackle Crust
2 cups (250 grams) flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp fresh grate nutmeg
4 tablespoons (65 grams or 1/2 a stick) butter at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 tbsp molasses or (if you’re in Germany like me) sugar beet syrup (zuckerrübensirup)
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree (pumpkin only! Not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup buttermilk
100 grams chopped dark choclate (about 3/4 cup)
For the cinnamon crackle
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F. Butter and flour a 9 inch loaf tin.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
With a blender or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, sugar, oil, and molasses. Add vanilla and pumpkin and thoroughly blend. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined.
Pour in your dry ingredients, mix together and pour in your buttermilk. Mix until it’s all combined. Stir in your chocolate chunks. Pour batter into your prepared baking pan.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for your crackle and distribute generously on top of your loaf using a spoon. Really generously. The sugar melts and that’s what makes your crackle and it’s so good.
Bake for an hour or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out batter free.
Let it cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack for more cooling (good luck with that!).
A few weeks ago, I got The Flavour Thesaurus. It’s a cooking book, but not a cook book. It lists ingredients by their flavour and then lists what goes well with it. And I read about strawberry and hazelnuts being a combo that allow “the fruit’s flavour to shine in a way that chocolate rarely can.”
And I knew just what I wanted to do: Strawberry-Hazelnut ice cream. One recipe that was a strawberry and hazelnut flavoured ice cream came up… but it used the hazelnuts pureed into a nut butter, mixed with strawberries. The oils in the nut butter froze incredibly hard and turned into a crumbly frozen mess, albeit a tasty one.
So I took a new approach, combining David Lebovitz’s Gianduja Gelato recipe (from The Perfect Scoop) and this strawberry ice cream recipe from epicurious. And there were lots of steps. And often I skip steps, but not this time. I did every. single. step.
And the results were just what I wanted.
Strawberry hazelnut ice cream
- 180 grams (1.5 cups) hazelnuts, roasted, skins rubbed off, finely chopped in a food processor
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) heavy cream
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 500 grams (3-ish cups) strawberries
Roast your hazelnuts and rub them in a dish towel to get the skins off. Pulse a few times in the food processor to get them finely chopped.
In the mean time, heat up your milk, cream, salt and 1/2 cup sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once there, pour your hazelnuts into the milk mixture and let it steep for an hour.
As the hazelnuts steep, hull your strawberries and puree them in your food processor. Strain the puree through a mesh sieve and set aside.
Combine the last quarter cup of sugar and the egg yolks in another bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
When the hazelnuts are done steeping their delicious deep roasted flavour into the milk, drain them through a mesh sieve. Press on them a few times to really get the last juices and as much flavour as you can out of them. Toss the hazelnuts and put your hazelnut-flavoured milk back on the stove and warm it up but don’t let it boil. When it’s almost at the boiling point, get your whisk ready and slowly pour in a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper it. Once the whole cup is mixed in, pour into your saucepan on the stove and heat up, stirring constantly, until the custard starts to thicken.
Remove from stove and stir in your strawberry puree.
Cool in fridge for at least two hours and then follow your ice cream maker’s instructions for the rest.
It’s really, really good.