Yea, I know. Summer came, and with it, a desire to be no where near my kitchen, so we totally ate as simply as we could. Fast and easy, and frequently, only tried-and-true recipes. I had no desire to create my own recipes--there are so, so many great paleo-friendly recipes out there these days!
But it was inevitable. Seasons change, and so returned the desire to once again taste all the familiar comfort foods of my pre-paleo days, which means I've started to paleo-ify up recipes again.
Hey, it's Pumpkin Season! Yes, that's a bona-fide season! I swear! Seriously, Google pumpkin recipes and you'll see--us pumpkin lovers cook with the stuff all season long. Pumpkin goes with EVERYTHING!
Thanksgiving is almost here. At least, for those of us in Canada, it is. And in my family, everyone brings food to Thanksgiving dinner, almost pot-luck-style. Whoever hosts it makes the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, squash, and sometimes even a pumpkin pie. When we host it, that pumpkin pie is totally paleo, but we're not hosting it this time. And it would be rude to bring an identical food item that is paleo-ified to compete with the host's food. So...what is there left to bring? Oh, sure, a green veg of some sort. Or maybe a sweet potato casserole (because I hate plain mashed squash--weird, right? Totally contradicts my love of pumpkin....)
I make an awesome gingerbread cake, sure, and everyone loves it--but some variety is nice, you know?
So with pumpkin season here, I've been fantasizing about converting this old recipe clipping I have. I think it came as a hand-out with my Good Food Box more than a decade ago. It had a recipe for a microwave-cooked pumpkin cake that was just awesome. I know, I know, microwave, right? I do still use my microwave, and it's not likely I will stop anytime soon, so to those of you who feel that microwaves are unsafe, go ahead an bake this in the oven. Don't ask me how, because I'm cooking mine in the microwave since it makes the cake soft and fluffy--maybe I'll try to bake it in the oven soon (probably at 350 degrees for 30 minutes would do just fine), but first I'm gonna try the microwave. Life is hard enough already with all this eating grain-free, legume-free, processed-food-free, and refined-sugar-free. Sorry, but it's true. A little dose of reality. This is where I choose to draw the line. My microwave is my friend. Until I read enough to definitively say otherwise--because the info out there right now is completely contradictory so I'm not going to sweat it until then.
So, back to the cake!
1 c pumpkin puree, either your own or canned pure pumpkin
1/4 c coconut flour
1/3 c coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c melted butter or coconut oil
handfull raisins, optional
Mix all ingredients except raisins with standing mixer or hand-held electric mixer, making sure to break up all the coconut flour (that stuff doesn't dissolve easy in recipes). Stir in raisins. Spread in greased glass, microwave-safe 8x8 casserole pan (I greased with coconut oil). Place a microwave-safe saucer or small plate upside-down in the microwave. Place pan with batter ontop of saucer. Microwave at 50% power for 8 minutes. (If you don't have a turn-plate, turn it now), and return for another 5 minutes, again at 50% power. You may need to cook it a bit longer--at 3 minute intervals--as microwaves vary. I ended up baking mine for 20 minutes at half power, checking on it frequently. It will still look a bit wet in the middle, but will be pulling away on the sides by now and will look cooked through if you look at the underside of the pan. Let it cool completely.
This cake is nice as-is, (and my teen and my husband would gladly eat it plain) but I love a great cream-cheese icing with pumpkin. Either way, remember that this is treat food, even if it is paleo-ified.
Simple Cream Cheese Icing:
4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese
2 Tbs coconut milk
2 Tbs coconut sugar, to taste
Whip cream cheese until fluffy, add all else, mix until combined. Try not to eat it off the eggbeaters.
So let me finish with a small note on organic coconut sugar--I always try to add as little of any sweetener as I can when I create/alter any recipe. Coconut sugar is, in my humble opinion, one of the best sweeteners out there to use. Did you know that it causes only half the insulin response as white sugar, honey, or maple syrup? And with an intensely sweet and caramel-like taste, I find you never need much. Give it a try, if you haven't already. It is becoming popular enough to find just about anywhere--you can even buy it at Costco (which is the best price I've found so far)
Let me know what you think!