Thanksgiving Project Accomplished
I’m so glad Thanksgiving’s over. I was able to pull off that what seemed to be a grandiose plan to take over the dinner preparation and with roasted turkey to boot. I call it grandiose because I have zero experience when it comes to cooking turkey. Preparing the sides is easy but not the main star of the meal. Anyway, my turkey came out tasty and succulent. I guess it helped that I used fresh turkey and I brined it really nice. I also did not scrimp on my spices and herbs and the result is the wonderful aromas in the kitchen while the bird was roasting. My creamy mashed potatoes and gravy are what they should be. I still miss Klondike Rose potatoes but they didn’t have them at the store where I shopped so I had to settle for regular red potatoes. What I had on my imaginary menu board is Tyler’s caramelized onions and corn bread stuffing recipe but since I made my special corn bread with lots of corn kernels and cream style corn to make it really moist, I decided to just serve it with the turkey. That is an awesome combo meal- turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy and moist corn bread on the side. I will definitely make turkey again. Now it can be told- we do have chemistry!
The other surprise of the night is my Spice Pumpkin Angel Food Cake. I wasn’t sure it will be successful because it is the first time I am adding something in the mix other than mere flavorings. But I wanted the cake to be really bursting with pumpkin flavor hence the pumpkin puree. I did not deviate from my original recipe- just added a quarter of a teaspoon cream of tartar and imagined the warm pumpkin puree as warm water that I have grown accustomed to add into the ingredients. The cakes turned out great- the first somewhat thinner because I used my biggest spring form pan and I also used up a whole can of pumpkin puree. But it was tender and light; just delicious. For the second one, I used less pumpkin puree but not at all lacking in flavor and with the usual angel food cake texture. I think you would understand more why I’m so into angel food cake. There’s so much you can do with it in terms of flavors and add-ons. I’m sure all of you have your own favorite and if there’s one great love in cakes, then this is mine!
Spice Pumpkin Food Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 ½ cup egg whites (or 10 extra large), room temperature
1 ½ cup caster sugar, divided
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 ¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp spice pumpkin pie powder (add more as you please)
¼ cup pumpkin puree diluted with a 1 tbsp water (warm)
Preheat oven to 325F.
In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar and the cake flour. Set aside.
Beat egg whites until frothy, then add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until fully incorporated then begin to add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time. When sugar has been added, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Add the warm pumpkin puree in tree additions and beat for a few seconds to evenly distribute.
Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites in 6-8 additions and gently fold it in after each addition. Take your time and do it gently to avoid deflating the egg whites.
Spoon or pour batter into an ungreased spring form pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and tap the pan on the counter once or twice to ensure that there are no large bubbles lurking beneath the surface.
Bake for 40-42 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Transfer the cake straight to the freezer while preparing the frosting. Freezing the cake before frosting helps to make the frosting smoother and to avoid crumbs when slicing the cake in two for filling.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cupful cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 cupful cool whip, well chilled
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds and mint leaves
Beat cream cheese and confectioner's sugar till creamy
Fold, do not beat the well chilled Cool Whip till fully incorporated
Chill well before using
Frosting the cake:
Divide the cake using a sharp serrated knife (I was lazy and did not do layers)
Spread cream cheese mix evenly on top of the first layer
Top with the other half of the cake
Spread remaining frosting all the way to the sides making sure the cake is well covered with the frosting
I also made Penne & Cheese (should have been Mac & Cheese but I didn’t have macaroni) with crunchy panko bread crumb topping. Why do I have a feeling I made this last year too
It seems that Thanksgiving dinner will not be complete without sweet potatoes. Last year, I just peeled and cubed them then popped in the oven with butter, brown sugar and marshmallows as the finisher. This time, I kept the skin on, and baked them as I would regular russet potatoes. And instead of sour cream, bacon and chives, I used toasted pecans, brown sugar, a little cinnamon and marshmallows for the gooey effect. It was spectacular. I’ve always favored white sweet potatoes over the regular orange yams because of the former’s creamy texture albeit a little bit pricier. But it’s all worth it.
The only thing missing from my original menu is the creamed corn but I did make it this morning for someone who’s so in love with the dish. She’s all delighted and so am I…. I feed to please, right?