October is peak Pumpkin season and many of you may have already had your Pumpkin spiced lattes and visited your local Pumpkin patches to be able to make delicious soups, cakes or pies, to carve, or to decorate your home with.
If you haven’t picked up your pumpkins yet, then worry not, there is still plenty of time! There are ‘pick your own’ patches in Dorset at Sopley Farm in Christchurch, Lenctenbury Farm in Corfe Castle, Cat & Fiddle Farm and Cafe in Hinton and Dorset Country Pumpkins in Milton Abbas, as well as just over the border with Ansty Farm near Salisbury and ‘Pumpkin Picking Patch’ in Fordingbridge. Until carved, pumpkins keep brilliantly so you can both enjoy them as an autumnal decoration and then make all your favourite recipes once Halloween is over.
If you were hoping to go Trick or Treating but were unsure of the safety aspect this year, then you can get involved in ‘The Great Dorset Pumpkin Trail’. Instead of collecting sweets, simply pop a lovely picture of a pumpkin in your window and families are taking their children to see how many they can find as they walk around the neighbourhood. Currently the Facebook group for this event has more than 10,000 members and is rapidly growing so get involved in some of the fun!
If you still want your kids to have their sweet fix, then this recipe is full of colour and fun and can be topped with all your favourite sweet treats. It is super simple to make and would be a great fun to make with your children over half term.
Blackmore Vale recipe – October 2020
For the Cake
• 10oz butter
• 10oz caster sugar
• 5 eggs
• 10oz self raising flour • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing
• 4oz softened butter
• 8oz icing sugar
• a little extra icing sugar
• some food colouring in fun colours. • oodles of your favourites sweets
Smear some butter around the base and sides of a 9inch x 13 inch baking tin. Then line the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to gas 5 or 170 degrees fan.
In a stand mixer, with an electric whisk or with a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl really well. The mixture will change to be light and fluffy and the colour will turn pale.
Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each egg. If the mixture curdles, you can add one spoonful of the flour and then beat well.
Slowly stir in the flour. Take care not to beat hard and knock out all of the air that has just been worked into the mix.
Spoon the mixture into the tin evenly and level the tops so they are mostly flat. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The cakes will be done when the cakes have come away slightly from the edges of the pan and the top of the cake is springy to the touch.
Leave the cakes to cool.
To ice the cakes:
Remove the sponge from the baking tin.
Make a simple buttercream icing by combining the butter with the icing sugar in a mixer and beat well together. If the mixture becomes too stiff, soften with a little milk. If the mixture is to soft, you can just add some more icing sugar.
Spread the buttercream across the top of the whole cake so that it is evenly covered.
Cut the cake into squares and move the squares slightly apart from each other.
Mix 4 or 5 tbsp of icing sugar in a little bowl with a tiny amount of water and some food colouring to make brightly coloured water icing and drizzle these across the tops of the squares. Then top with all your favourite sweets.
By: Heather Brown