06 January 2010

California for the Holidays

I hopped a plane and headed west to be with family over the holidays. Now, let me tell you, I really love Dutch oven cooking outdoors. And, the weather where I am in CA is not bad so, I was thinking what a great time to try out some new recipes. Oh yeah, I do keep a couple of black pots and a fire table at my family's place out here. The problem is my Mom-in-Law. I love her dearly but she is just not into this idea of cooking outdoors over hot coals when there's a perfectly good kitchin to use inside. So, bribery is in order.

It's the holidays I really like's pumkin pie. But, I want to try something a little less traditional. A friend of mine pointed me to a recipe that he got off of the Internet somewhere and said was worth sharing. It's pumpkin cake with a coconut cream topping. Since my wife and Mom love coconut here goes:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 cup milk

1 2/3 cups coconut
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon milk
1 t vanilla extract


In a large bowl, combine cake ingredients. Mix until batter is smooth

Preheat Dutch oven to 350°. Coat lightly with canola oil.

Pour cake batter into into Dutch oven. Bake 35-45 minutes, or til a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Tip: You can use parchment paper or aluminum Dutch oven inserts. But the Dutch oven purists (who I tend to pay attention to) will tell you that if your oven is well seasoned the cake shouldn't stick. Do what works best for you.

Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring til blended. Simmer about 1 minute, or til thickened. Spread the topping over the warm cake. Let rest at least an hour before slicing.

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