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Print this Recipe    Pumpkin 12

Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate leaves
12 servings

Chocolate Leaves

6 ounces imported milk chocolate (such as Lindt), finely chopped, plus
one 1-inch piece of milk chocolate
24 fresh lemon or camellia leaves, wiped with moist paper towels, patted dry
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker's), finely
chopped, plus one 1-inch piece of white chocolate
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely
chopped, plus one 1-inch piece of bittersweet chocolate

You'll need two dozen lemon leaves or camellia leaves to make the
chocolate decoration. If you don't have unsprayed leaves from your
own or a friend's garden, get them from a florist.

Line small baking sheet (or large plate) with foil. Add enough hot
water (125F to 130F) to 9-inch-diameter cake pan to measure depth
of 1 inch. Place 6 ounces finely chopped milk chocolate in 3- to
4-cup glass bowl; place bowl in hot water. Let stand just until
outer edges of chocolate melt. Stir until chocolate is partially
melted (some soft pieces will remain). Transfer bowl to work
surface and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth and instant-read
thermometer registers no higher than 88F (barely lukewarm). If
melted chocolate is warmer than 88F, add 1-inch piece of milk
chocolate and stir until temperature falls below 88F. Remove any
remaining piece of chocolate.

Hold 1 leaf with heavily veined side up. Using pastry brush,
carefully coat upper surface completely with chocolate.

Using fingertips, wipe away any chocolate overflow from edges of
leaf. Place leaf, chocolate side up, on prepared baking sheet.
Repeat with 7 more leaves. Refrigerate coated leaves until chocolate
is cold and set, about 10 minutes.

Carefully peel lemon leaves off chocolate leaves; return chocolate
leaves to baking sheet and refrigerate.

Line another small baking sheet (or large plate) with foil. Melt
6 ounces white chocolate and make 8 white chocolate leaves, following
technique and temperature guidelines for milk chocolate leaves.

Line another small baking sheet (or large plate) with foil. Melt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate and make 8 bittersweet chocolate
leaves, following technique for milk chocolate leaves.


Cake

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350F. Line bottoms of two 9-inch-diameter cake pans
with 2-inch-high sides with waxed paper. Spray sides of pans with
nonstick spray. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking
soda, salt and cloves into medium bowl; sift again. Place currants
in small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and toss to coat;
mix in walnuts.

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy.
Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in flour
mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions. Beat
in pumpkin. Fold in currant-walnut mixture. Divide batter equally
between prepared pans (batter will be about 3/4 inch deep).

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about
25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Turn cakes
out onto racks; peel off waxed paper. Cool layers completely.


Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons robust-flavored (dark) molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 8-ounce packages chilled cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Beat butter, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and orange peel in
large bowl until fluffy. Beat in cream cheese. Sift powdered sugar
over; beat to blend.

Place 1 cake layer, bottom side up, on platter. Spread with 1 1/2
cups frosting. Top with second cake layer, bottom side down. Spread
remaining frosting smoothly over top and sides of cake.

Arrange chocolate leaves decoratively on top and sides of cake.
Serve.

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