Friday, October 16, 2015

Kitsch-en Kounter: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Jack O' Brownie Lantern

You know how you watch every episode of The Great British Bake Off/Baking Show (plus all of its auxiliary programs/interviews) on YouTube before you realize that they offer the latest season on Netflix which somehow translates into a first-class ticket to the world of misplaced confidence, thinking that you can (and should) do anything they can do on the show and do it better?  Well, I do.

Intent on making Halloween last as long as possible, I confidently sauntered up to the Kitsch-en Kounter to do a quick Halloween-themed "bake" - a Pumpkin-Spice-Cream-Cheese-Dark-Chocolate-Brownie Jack O' Lantern.

I saw a technique on the show where a contestant achieved a patterned cake by piping a tinted design into the cake pan and freezing it before adding the bulk of the cake batter.  With pathetically-primitive piping skills, I figured that I could at least eke out a classic jack o' lantern.  As a contrast to the main pumpkin cake,  I piped the design using a batch of dark-chocolate brownie batter, working out a crude, but recognizable, pumpkin face.  Without a proper pumpkin-shaped pan, I simply used a cake round, adding some contour lines and a top-knot stem.

I had no idea if the technique would actually work so I hedged my bets by adding the remaining brownie batter and a cheesecake swirl.  I figured that if the face did turn out, the cream-cheese-brownie swirl would be a great surprise; if the face didn't turn out, I would simply serve it swirl-side-up and no one would be the wiser.

Much to my surprise, it actually worked!
Meet the Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Jack O' Brownie Lantern!!!

My staunch refusal to adhere to the exacting standards of modern baked goods combined with the fact that this was an experimental recipe, meant that there was an overwhelming surplus of batter.  Undeterred, I thought WWMBD? (what would Mary Berry do?); immediately, I retrieved a loaf pan from the cupboard.

Using the remaining batters, I settled upon a pumpkin loaf with a cream cheese swirl.
It seemed a little unfinished, so I whipped up a quick streusel topping. 

I probably should have left well-enough alone.  With nowhere to go, the cream cheese swirl got lost somewhere between the pumpkin bread and the streusel topping.  As is my attitude with all of my baking experiments,
however, I believe that the taste is paramount - and nobody, but nobody, was complaining!

I might not be ready for the pressures of a "showstopper" challenge, but you can be darn sure that I am ready for the spookiest night of the year!

Not to worry, I am definitely not the weirdo handing out
homemade treats or, worse yet, pennies/pencils/raisins!

How are you preparing for the big day?  We hope it is with full-size candy bars!!!  However you choose to celebrate, we wish you a Happy and FRIENDLY Halloween!!!

Casper the Friendly Ghost in "To Boo or Not to Boo" (1951)


Mr. Tiny


  1. Charles Phoenix has got to be pissed he didn't think of this. Brilliant Jack O face!

    1. Thanks, PQ!!! Hahaha, I don't think I am on his radar.

  2. It all looks delicious, and I absolutely LOVE your Jack 'O Lantern cake!

    1. Thanks a million! I'm so glad it turned out. I had one friend tell me that she is going to try and recreate the cake; I can't wait to see her creation! Happy Halloween!!!