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LI-ANNE KUEK (Second runner-up)
Pumpkin & walnut loaf with white chocolate & pumpkin ganache, honeycomb, yogurt sorbet & milk crumb

The Japanese pumpkin, also known as kent pumpkin, is the main ingredient in the loaf. The pumpkin in puree form is added into the cake mix together with nutmeg, chopped walnuts and cinnamon. The loaf is served warm with a sorbet made with plain yoghurt, lemon juice and vanilla bean.

Palm oil tip: “I replaced butter with palm oil in my recipe, and it’s a good replacement because it is lower in saturated fat than butter. Its colour works well with my cake because it gives an orange base. Palm oil is so versatile and it’s a shame that not many people are aware of its benefits,” said Kuek.

Kuek's pumpkin loaf with pumpkin ganache and sorbet is a pretty sight for the eyes.

Ingredients:

Plain flour – 200g
Brown sugar – 200g
Bicarbonate of soda – 1 tsp
Large eggs – 3
Baking powder – 4 tsp
Red palm oil – 160g
Cinnamon – 1½ tsp
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Nutmeg, freshly grated – ¼ tsp
Pumpkin puree – 250g
Salt – ¼ tsp
Walnuts, chopped – 50g
Edible flowers – 1 punnet

Pumpkin puree
Kent pumpkin 1 (approximately 1kg)

Yogurt sorbet
Caster sugar – 80g
Plain yogurt, full cream – 375g
Water – 80ml
Lemon juice – 60ml
Liquid glucose – 15g
Vanilla bean – ½

Milk crumb
Milk powder – 60g
Salt – 1 tsp
Plain flour – 40g
Butter, melted – 55g
Cornstarch – 12g
White chocolate, melted – 90g
Sugar – 25g

White chocolate and pumpkin ganache
White chocolate – 200g
Pumpkin puree – 100g
Butter, unsalted – 30g
Salt – ¼ tsp
Liquid glucose – 2 tbsp
Cinnamon – ¼ tsp
Heavy cream – 60g

Honeycomb
Caster sugar – 100g
Liquid glucose – 1 tbsp
Bicarbonate of soda – 1½ tsp
Water – 25ml

Method:

Pumpkin puree
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Peel and cut the pumpkin.
3. Wrap in foil with a splash of water and bake for 25 minutes.
4. Pass through drum sieve.

Pumpkin and walnut loaf
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 9×5 inch loaf tin.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the brown sugar, eggs, red palm oil on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until very smooth and lighter in colour.
4. Beat in the vanilla and then the pumpkin until smooth.
5. Fold in dry mixture into the wet ingredients.
6. Gently fold in chopped walnuts.
7. Scrape mixture into a loaf tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Yogurt sorbet
1. Boil water and sugar in a pan until the liquid has the consistency of a syrup.
2. Dissolve glucose in the syrup and leave to cool.
3. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla bean and syrup and whisk well.
4. Churn in an ice cream maker and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

Milk crumb
1. Preheat oven to 120°C.
2. Combine 40g of milk powder, flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and toss to mix. Add in melted butter and toss using a fork until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.
3. Spread the clusters on lined baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Allow clusters to cool completely and transfer into a medium bowl. Add the remaining milk powder and toss until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
5. Melt white chocolate.
6. Pour melted white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until the clusters are enrobed. Continue tossing every five minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky.

White chocolate and pumpkin ganache
1. Melt butter and chocolate and mix until smooth.
2. Warm liquid glucose in a saucepan and immediately add to the chocolate mixture, then blend with blender.
3. Stream in heavy cream and blend till shiny and smooth.
4. Blend in the pumpkin puree, salt, and cinnamon. Store in fridge till required.

Honeycomb
1. Place sugar, glucose and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until you get a light golden colour.
3. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda.
4. Transfer immediately onto a silicone baking mat and leave to set.

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