Chef Gigi’s Kabocha Spiced Rum Cake ! 

Looking for that perfect dessert to bring to Friendsgiving this year? Kobocha is the Japanese word for squash. This  squash has a nutty, earthy flavor with a touch of sweetness. So delicious and versatile ! Kobocha squash can be used in sweet and savory applications. This Spiced Rum Cake will be the perfect addition to your holiday! 

Kabocha Spiced Rum Cake 
Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups mashed kabocha squash

8 large medjool dates, pitted

3 Tablespoons quality dark rum

1/2 cup butter, softened 

1/2 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar 

3/4 cup buttermilk 

2 Tablespoons orange zest

2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 large eggs 

1 teaspoon quality vanilla 

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 

1 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg 

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

Pecan Caramel Glaze or Powered Sugar topping ( recipes below) 

Method: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F Degrees.

2. Prepare a high sided baking sheet lined with foil prepared with organic, non-stick cooking spray.

3. Cut the squash in half with a sharp serrated knife,careful not to cut yourself. De-seed. 

4. Spritz the top halves of the cut squash with a quick spitz of the cooking spray. Place squash cut-side down onto the foil lined baking sheet.Place in center rack of preheated warm oven. 

5. Bake until golden brown, and a knife runs easily through the flesh. Cool. 

6. While kobocha squash is in the oven, prepare an 10 inch bunt cake pan generously with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside on top of a lined cookie sheet. Set aside. 

7. In a medium bowl, combine the pitted dates with 1 tablespoon of the rum. Fill with boiling water and soak dates to reconstitute, about 15 -20 minutes. Strain the water solution and place dates in your food processor or blender. Process to a smooth paste.

8. While the dates are processing , whisk together in a small bowl the flour, baking powder, baking baking soda, all the spices including the salt and the pepper. Set aside. 

9. Remove cooled kobocha from its skin by scooping out the cooked flesh with a large spoon. Add the flesh straight to your food processor or blender with the dates and pulse process until completely smooth.

10. In the bowl of your stand mixer or in a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer–add the butter and sugar.Beat on high speed until butter is creamed and pale in color and sugar crystals begin to dissolve about 2-3 minutes. 

11. Add purée and mix an additional minute. Add 1 egg at a time beating in between addition. Continue to beat until smooth. Add buttermilk and orange juice with vanilla and the remaining rum. Beat well. Scrape bowl.

12. Add dry mixture working in two additions, beating until just combine with every addition. Scrape bowl. Stir in the orange zest.

13. Pour the cake batter into the prepared bunt pan. Smack on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles and level out batter. 

14. Place on the center rack of a preheated 350’F oven and bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick is placed in the center and comes out clean. While cake is cooling, make the pecan glaze or combine the powered sugar topping.

15. Allow cake to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

16. Remove cake from the pan when cooled, by running the back of a knife gently around the top inside edge to release. Top with an 12 inch cardboard cake round, or a dinner plate and invert so the cake slips out. Remove by gently pulling the bunt pan off. 

17. Dust with a 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar spiked with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Or, pour on the pecan glaze.When pouring glaze make sure it has substantially cooled to a thick but pourable viscosity.If the glaze is too warm it will run all the way off the cake. 

Pecan Caramel Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

½ cup whole cream

2 Tablespoons butter

½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

Method

1. In a high-sided pan over medium heat melt the sugar.When the sugar melts and begins to turn golden around the edges, reduce the heat to low and begin to stir until all the sugar has completely melted. 

2. Add the butter and cream carefully – the cream will bubble up fast and could boil over. Continue to cook,stirring on low heat until you have a smooth caramel sauce- this may take up to 10 minutes.

3. Once the glaze is completely sauce like and thick– add the pecans. 

4. Remove from heat. Cool to a thick but pourable consistency.Pour over the top of the bundt cake.

Serves approximately 12 slices. Delicious warm with vanilla bean ice cream!

Happy Friendsgiving ! 

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