Petra CoxPetra is a specialty baker for Mom's Apple Pie Company, a family-run bakery with four locations in Northern Virginia. By the time she was born, the family business had been operating from their home for three years. Petra and her siblings grew up rolling crusts, peeling apples and baking pies with their parents from early on. In addition to bakery experience, Petra trained with family friend, Is Harris, making a variety of Thai cuisine from scratch, punctuating her culinary appreciation for both sweet and savory flavors and techniques. Subsequent training in oenology and cuisine both in Florence, Italy and Washington, DC led to her current position as wine buyer and recipe research and development at Mom's Apple Pie in Occoquan, Virginia.
Petra Cox: Hi, I am Petra Cox from Mom s Apple Pie Company in Occoquan, Virginia and today we are making a basic pumpkin cake recipe that you can use to make a jelly-rolled cake, pumpkin cup-cakes or pumpkin bread and now that you know how to make your cup and a half of pumpkin that you need for this recipe from your raw pumpkin, we can go ahead and put the cake batter together.
The first step to that is we are putting our two and a quarter cups of sugar into our mixer. This recipe, it s really good to have an electric mixer to use rather than doing it by hand and I am adding to that, three quarters of a cup of vegetable oil. You can even use something like olive oil in this, I am using canola oil. Olive oil adds different savory note to it which is really nice and we are going to combine those two.
The reason we are using olive oil, I mean, olive oil or vegetable oil instead of butter is that it makes for a very moist soft cake whereas butter makes for a rich cake that when it cools down it is slightly drier. So we want this to be a nice, soft, moist cake when it cools off. We are going to add three eggs at this point, you can mix briefly, and after adding the egg, I am going to wash down the edges, just to make sure everything is added evenly.
Next thing, I will do is to add my cup and a half of pumpkin. If you are using canned pumpkin, it is often slightly drier than pumpkin that you process yourself. So just add another tablespoon or two of water when we get to that down the road and add that to our next, -- it already have a nice orangey pretty color, that squash and pumpkin mixture and the next thing we do is to add the dry ingredients. This is two and two thirds cup cake flour, two teaspoons of baking soda and two teaspoon of baking powder, a teaspoon of salt and then we do a teaspoon of cinnamon and of ginger and half a teaspoon of nutmeg and a quarter teaspoon of cloves. Nutmeg and cloves are used in small amounts just because they are a little bit more potent. Then just add these together with a whisk, so that everything could be added pretty evenly to the liquid mix. I am going to add that about half cup at a time to my liquid mixture. When you put some dry mixture into a liquid mix using an electric mixer, be careful not to turn it to too high speed, too quickly because you will end up with your dry ingredients in your face and everywhere else around your kitchen. It does not have to mix completely each -- before each addition of the dry ingredients, you just do not want to add it all at once.
Often with the Hardy Cakes like this one, I do not really worry about mixing because the mixer can do most of the work and it does not need a very light airy batter. There is the last of our dry ingredient, after I have added the last of the dry ingredient, I am going to wipe everything down from the sides that has not been mixed in. You can see there is a lot of flour that is been pushed to the sides. That is why this is important.
And let s turn that on again. In all that filling, I am going to add about three quarter cup of water and you can add more if you are using the canned pumpkin and vanilla is optional but I like it in just about any baked goods. About a tea-spoon will do. Alright and as soon as everything is combined you are done. And we can move on to the next step of dividing it into different kinds of baking containers for whatever kind of baked goods you like to make.