Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Cake (with turkey eggs!)

An unexpected benefit to having animal-behaviorist biologist friends is that you meet their super-interesting animal-behaviorist biologist friends, who may or may not study captive flocks of wild turkeys in Mississippi, and who may or may not show up at parties with, like, a gross of said turkeys' eggs and, well, behold:

You might just go home with some turkey eggs of your very own.

They are about the size of chicken eggs, shown for comparison. But having cooked with duck eggs previously, I knew these would have incredibly thick and rich yolks. Obviously, these eggs were destined to go into a baking project.

The challenge I set for myself was that I had to make something I had never made before (turkey egg chocolate cake being out) and could only use ingredients I had on hand.

My mother has this charmingly random habit of sending me care packages that are two-thirds sensical (my mail that has been sent to my parents' address; vehicle documents; holiday goodies) and one-third nonsensical (foam boomerangs; flamingo stickie things; cans of pumpkin). Needless to say, I love getting a package from home. But those cans of pumpkin had been sitting in my pantry for a while...

Pumpkin! I said. And cocoa powder. Seasons be damned. Turkey eggs, pumpkin, chocolate. Okay. Now, where can I find a recipe that uses these things?

Weirdly, Martha Stewart had one. The recipe was for Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, but mine turned out more cake-like, probably due to the deep dish and the fact that I only used 3 eggs instead of her 4.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Cake
Adapted from a recipe on

8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
6-7 tablespoons of Special Dark cocoa powder, mixed with a couple teaspoons of sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs (I used 3 turkey eggs because they are richer)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pan. Melt butter in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water; stir in cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from heat.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla, beating 3 to 5 minutes until fluffy and well-combined. Beat in flour mixture.

Divide batter between two bowls, about two cups per bowl. Into one bowl, stir the chocolate mixture. Into the other, stir the melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin.

I somehow ended up with more pumpkin than chocolate batter, so instead of Martha's four layers, I did three: a layer of pumpkin on the bottom, a middle layer of chocolate, and a top layer of pumpkin. Drag a knife through to make pretty designs and what-have-you.

Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Comments from the peanut gallery:

"Is good with coffee" - taste-tester number 1

"Can you make this again... at Halloween?" - taste-tester number 2

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I'm writing an article about turkey eggs (in Poultry Science) , some characteristics, recipes etc...I found your site blog and foto of "Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Cake (with turkey eggs!) , so can I use your recipe and foto of this cake in my article - of course giving an Author and site!