Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thanksgiving and Beyond

It's been a while, and I got all swept away with the holiday season, and took great pictures of some awesome food... but then my camera broke, and I let things slide.

For Thanksgiving, most years, I've made a Pumpkin Praline Torte (from Taste of Home Magazine). It's a delicious cake made with a crisp candied topping and iced with whipped cream -- a wonderful alternative to pumpkin pie.

Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Praline Torte
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup chopped pecans
4 eggs
1-2/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional chopped pecans
Directions: In a heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into two well-greased 9-in. round baking pans. Sprinkle with pecans; cool. For cake, in a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, pie spice, baking soda and salt; add to pumpkin mixture and beat just until blended. Carefully spoon batter over brown sugar mixture. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. For topping, in a small mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Place one cake layer praline side up on a serving plate. Spread with two-thirds of the whipped cream mixture over cake. Top with second cake layer and remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional pecans if desired. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 14 servings.

I've invited all the grandparents over this Sunday (weather permitting) and we're going to the church Christmas pageant. I'm going to make Beef Bourguignon (husband won't like that --he's anti-stew; anti-crock pot) and so, for him, I'm making Cincinnati Chili. The Beef Bourguignon is from Ina Garten and the food network website. Cincinnati Chili has been around forever.

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