Are we over pumpkin yet or do I still have time to share a couple more recipes? Given than tinned pumpkin will keep for years and butternut squash is available year round there’s really no reason why we should be limited to a short ‘pumpkin season’, and yet I feel like if I were to share pumpkin recipes in the Summer they would just sink without a trace. I’ve got a couple more to share before everyone loses interest, starting with this chocolate ginger pumpkin bread wreath.
I used pumpkin puree as the main source of liquid in the bread dough, it gives the dough a beautiful bright, vibrant orange colour and a hint of pumpkin flavour, and also helps keep the dough lovely and soft. It is quite a sticky dough, so is best made in a stand mixer if you have one, otherwise it is quite messy to knead! I make the dough the day before I want to bake the bread and let it rise overnight in the fridge, this not only improves the flavour, but the cold dough is much easier to roll out and shape the following day.
The filling is really simple – I just mixed together some chocolate sandwich spread and ground ginger, spread it over the rolled out dough and scattered over a generous amount of finely chopped crystallised ginger; this is definitely not a bread for people who are on the fence about ginger as it is very gingery! If you want to take the ginger down a notch, omit the ground ginger from the filling.The wreath makes a great impressive breakfast or brunch centrepiece, and because the dough is so soft it is still good the day after it has been baked, preferably gently warmed through in the oven.
- 350g (3 cups) strong white bread flour
- 7g (2 tsp) fast action dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 60g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 200g (7oz) pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 egg
- 70g (generous ¼ cup) softened butter
- 250g (9oz) chocolate spread
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 150g (5oz) crystallised ginger, finely chopped
- Start the day before you want to bake the bread. Place the flour, yeast, salt, spices, sugar, pumpkin puree and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on a low speed until it comes together into a dough. Continue to mix for about 5 minutes at a high speed then add the butter a little at a time until it is all incorporated. Continue to mix at a high speed until the dough is smooth, elastic and comes away from the sides of the bowl cleanly. If it seems really too sticky then add a little more flour.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight (or for up to 24 hours).
- The following day, remove the dough from the fridge and turn out onto a floured surface, sprinkle with a little more flour then roll out to an approx 25x35cm rectangle. mix together the chocolate spread and the ground ginger then spread it evenly over the dough. Scatter over the chopped crystallised ginger.
- Roll the dough up from one of the long edges into a log. Slice the log in half lengthways, exposing the filling. Twist the two halves together then shape into a circle, pinching the ends together to seal. Transfer onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, loosely cover with oiled clingfilm and set aside to rise for about an hour until the dough is puffy and springs back slowly when you press it with a finger.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes until well risen, golden and cooked through - the internal temperature should reach at least 94C/202F. Cover loosely with tin foil partway through baking if the top starts to colour too much.
- Leave the bread to cool on the tray before serving.
For more pumpkin recipes to make the most of the short season check out my crumble topped pumpkin spice cake and spiced roast pumpkin soup with garlic croutons, feta and crispy fried sage. Or try a pumpkin bundt cake with chai glaze by Supergolden Bakes, a perfect pumpkin pie by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, healthier pumpkin spice syrup by Vikalinka or pumpkin ginger walnut date cake with mascarpone cream by Twigg Studios.
I am sharing this with Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant, Foodie FriDIY, Foodie Friends Friday, Fiesta Friday hosted by La Petite Casserole and A Pug In The Kitchen
Today I am reviewing not one but two Degustaboxes – September’s and October’s. If you’re not familiar with the Degustabox then in brief it’s a subscription service whereby each month you’re sent a box full of goodies to try; most are either new brands or products and it works out far cheaper than buying everything individually in the shops. It is a bit of a lottery however as you have no idea what you will be sent, some products you may love, and others you might not be so keen on; the surprise element is quite fun though, and it encourages you to try products that you wouldn’t normally think to buy. If you fancy giving a box a try yourself then simply enter the discount code BLDEG15 at the checkout and you’ll get £7 off your first order!
I’ll start with the September box. My favourite products included were:
Teisserie Sirop raspberry and cranberry flavour – this is a no-sugar fruit cordial which you dilute with still or sparkling water, it makes for a delicious and refreshing drink with a really nice flavour.
Metcalfe’s Popcorn Thins – These are crispy corn cakes (like rice cakes but made with corn) topped with chocolate, they are a tasty snack, and healthier than reaching for the biscuits.
Hartley’s No Added Sugar Jelly Pots: Yes these are meant for children but who doesn’t love jelly? They are handy to keep in the cupboard for when you fancy something sweet without the calories…
Also included were:
Get Fruity Bars: Made with fruit, oats and coconut oil, these are refined sugar and gluten free but a bit small and not remotely filling (for me at least). Probably good for children.
Cape Drinks: a sparkling blend of Roobios tea and fruit juices with vitamins and ginseng and no refined sugar. Given that I don’t actually like Roobios, these were surprisingly drinkable, tasty and refreshing.
Cirio Borlotti Beans: Not exactly exciting, but borlotti beans are tasty and versatile and handy to have in the cupboard.
Miso Tasty Miso Soup: Miso soup with separate packets of spring onions and seaweed and a slightly spicy flavour.
Say YES To No Bread Chips: Toasted bread chips with no artificial colours/flavours etc. I received the Texas BBQ flavour which were pretty addictive and great with dips.
Mrs Crimbles Gluten Free Fusilli: Gluten free dried pasta with a mushroom and cream sauce, this was edible, but not nice in the slightest.
Chia Bia Whole and Milled Chia Seed Sachets: So chia seeds are really good for you, but you can buy a far larger packet of them for the same price as these tiny sachets (£1 each), they seem ridiculously overpriced.
On to the October box, my favourite products were:
Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks: Crunchy salted baked rice and green pea sticks, these are totally addictive and much better for you than crisps.
Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream: I have always been a bit of a snob when it comes to Hershey’s chocolate, as any time I have tried it previously it has had the taste and texture of wax. However, either they have improved their recipe, or their white chocolate is just more palatable than their milk or dark, but this white chocolate bar with (oreo type) cookie pieces is pretty tasty.
Also included were:
Levi Roots Smokey BBQ Cook And Coat Sauce: I haven’t had a chance to try this yet as I very rarely A: cook meat or B: use packet sauces. Levi Roots’ sauces are generally quite nice for packet stuff though.
Maggi Fusian Noodles: A slightly more sophisticated version of the classic instant noodles with curry sauce, these are okay but just not my kind of thing.
Robinsons Squash’d Orange: This bottle is teeny, but you only need a tiny squirt of it to make a glass of squash so it will go quite a long way and is handy to carry round with you.
Heinz Kid’s Dry Pasta Shapes: Minion shaped dry pasta made with 50% whole wheat. This is quite tasty pasta, but seeing as I don’t have a child to give it to I tried it myself… It felt weird being a grown-ass adult eating minion shaped pasta.
Heinz Kids Pasta Sauce: Smooth tomato sauce with no added salt or sugar – probably good for kids, but for grown ups it is just bland and needed the addition of wine, salt, pepper, sugar, herbs and cheese to make it taste good.
Beloved Date Fruit Hearts: 100% dates with natural flavourings (cocoa/orange/berry) in little heart shapes. These make a good snack when you want to nibble on something sweet.
JimJams 83% Less sugar Chocolate Spread: Chocolate spread with far less sugar than the usual, it is pretty tasty – tastes about the same as regular chocolate spread, and I used it in the above chocolate ginger pumpkin bread wreath which was delicious. I did find that after it had been opened it went a bit lumpy, but this didn’t detract from the flavour at all.
Pitch Choco Bar: Individually wrapped mini brioche’s with a stick of chocolate in the middle. They are quite tasty, but best served warm as otherwise it is basically solid chocolate wrapped in bread.
IAM SOUPER: Meh. The super greens one is edible but not particularly nice, and the pulled pork one is lacking in flavour. Their main claim is that they keep you fuller for longer; they don’t.