Choc Coated Pumpkin and Marshmallow Bars

November 15, 2011
By

So I’m not big on Halloween. Which is pretty unusual because I’m a freaking nutter for Christmas. Easter isn’t as high on the list as Christmas but it’s also pretty cool. But yeah Halloween was never as massive in Australia as it is in the US so I’ve never done anything particularly Halloweeny before. Ever. Until now!

Ok I’m sliiiightly delayed. I know, I dropped the ball. But really, I did make this for Halloween….really! My workmates and family (who devoured it all) can attest. But I guess in actual fact, you can make this for any time. It’s that, damn, good!

When I think of Halloween, the obvious choice is things like ghosts, goblins and ghouls but when I think of the food, pumpkin is the first thing that comes to mind. I’m a massive fan of pumpkin in savoury dishes but have never really tried them in sweet so figured I would give it a go. I found an awesome recipe for a spiced pumpkin cake and got to making. The idea was to actually shape the cake like a pumpkin, carve it, ice it and put a candle in it like a proper little jack-o-lantern. Epic fail on this one. And hey, let’s be honest, when you fail at making a cake and have nothing but crumbs, you make cake pops! Well I do anyway. This time, I wanted to do something different, mainly because I had make cake pops recently and taken them in for our Bake Off. What to do, what to do? I had a crazy idea of still making the cake pops mix (i.e. crumbled cake and cream cheese frosting combined) but pressing it in to a brownie tin, and slicing it. But how could I make it better? Marshmalloooooooow! Chocolaaaaaaaaaate! And so, my Chocolate Coated Pumpkin and Marshmallow Bars were born.


You can really do this with any flavour cake or icing, and also any type of marshmallow. Seeing as this was my first time making marshmallow (and our kitchen will never be the same…..sshhh it’s still a touchy subject with Stud, *whispers* we don’t talk about it), I went with a basic marshmallow.

Pumpkin Cake

Adapted from Evil Chef Mom

Ingredients

1½ cups of pumpkin puree (I roasted ½ a butternut pumpkin which equated to 1½ cups)
6 oz. (3/4 cup) butter; extra for greasing
9 oz. (2 cups) plain  flour
1-1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp  ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp table salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter and line two 9-inch round cake tins with non-stick baking paper.

Melt the butter in a heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not set.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, bicarb soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. In a mixing bowl, whisk 1½ cups of the pumpkin puree with the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk until very well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Slowly add the brown butter until completely incorporated (It’s going to look greasy for a second and like it will never incorporate. It will). Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins.

Bake the cakes until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes (fan forced). Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto racks, and let cool completely.

Once completely cooled, crumble cakes in to large bowls. You can use a fork and scrape it in to crumbs, crumble it with your fingers, or put it in a food processor and pulse until you have rough crumbs (you don’t want it too fine though). Set aside.

Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients

600g icing sugar
250g cream cheese, softened
100g softened butter

Method

Beat icing sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add cream cheese and beat until completely incorporated. Check for flavour (you may want to add more sugar if you like it sweeter).

Cake Bars

Method

Combine icing with crumbled cake and mix until well combined. You may need to do this in batches.

Butter and line 2 brownie tins with non-stick baking paper and press cake mixture in.

Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or until hard. Turn out bars and return to fridge.

Marshmallow

Recipe from Taste

Ingredients

½ cup (75g) icing sugar, sifted
500g caster sugar
1 tbs liquid glucose (see note)
2 tbs gelatine powder
2 eggwhites
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup (75g) cornflour

Method

Grease and line same brownie pans used for cake bars. Dust inside of pan with 2 tablespoons icing sugar. Combine the caster sugar, liquid glucose and 200ml water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until a sugar thermometer reaches 120°C.

Place 200ml cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the powdered gelatine and then stand for 10 minutes. Place the bowl in a saucepan of simmering water and stir until completely clear. Slowly add the gelatine mixture into the sugar syrup. Be careful as at this point it will start to bubble and may overflow your saucepan (*whispers* but again, we don’t talk about this)

Beat eggwhites with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Continue to beat while you gradually add the sugar syrup, then beat for a further 10 minutes until mixture thickens and becomes glossy. Fold in the vanilla and pour the mixture into the pan. Stand for 1 hour until firm.

Using a cake cutter, split mixture in half lengthways (as if cutting layers in a cake) and place each marshmallow batch on top of a cake slab.


Return to fridge for an hour or so to allow it to set together.

Chocolate Coated Pumpkin and Marshmallow Bars

Ingredients

500g chocolate (I used a mixture of dark and milk but you can use whatever takes your fancy!)
Prepared cake/marshmallow slab
20ml olive oil (You can use a flavourless oil if you like, but I love using a full bodied olive oil as it gives the chocolate a great flavour)

Line 3 baking trays with non-stick paper and place a wire rack on each.

Using a hot knife, cut slabs in to squares or rectangles (I did one of each) and place on wire rack.

Melt 500g chocolate in the microwave and then stir in olive oil. You may need to add less or more olive oil, I basically use it as a thinner (a trick I learnt from the fabulous Bel).

Pour chocolate over each square/rectangle until covered completely on the top and place in the fridge until set.


Enjoy! 😀

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16 Responses to Choc Coated Pumpkin and Marshmallow Bars

  1. Bel | Ooh Look on November 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    That last pic of the dripping chocolate has a suitably ghoulish vibe! Those bars look incredible, especially the fluffy marshmallow. Yum yum!

  2. Glamorous Glutton on November 16, 2011 at 3:23 am

    The dripping chocolate picture is amazing. I almost don’t care what’s in the bars although I’m sure they are delicious. I have to try making marshmallow. GG

  3. Joanna @ Chic&Gorgeous Treats on November 16, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hi Nic! I am seeing pumpkin recipes everywhere and I sort of regret not buying back some pumpkin paste or those pumpkin puree in the jar from the States. Darn it.. amongst everybody’s pumpkin recipe, I have to say your one is definitely calling out to my ears. Halloween is not that big here in Malaysia too, and this time round I didn’t bake anything to post on it. I am a Christmas freak, and I must really start planning out and share all the Christmas-sy goodies. So happy you popped by and gave me a holler. More on SF scoop to come.. ;). Huggsss, Jo

  4. Anna @The Littlest Anchovy on November 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Who needs Halloween to scoff these little beauties! They look so good! Even those creepy white spiders don’t scare me away from these.:)

  5. Trisha on November 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    That last shot of the chocolate dripping is to die for!!!!

  6. msihua on November 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Oooh I like! I love!!! So gonna try this next year!!

  7. Joanne on November 16, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    How crazy fun are these! I love anything pumpkin and adding chocolate and marshmallows never hurts.

  8. Nami | Just One Cookbook on November 17, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Wow this sounds awesome! I nearly pass out with this chocolate dripping photo… YUM! I’d be so happy if I have these bars right now.

  9. Sara (Belly Rumbles) on November 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Pumpkin cake for the bars how perfect for Halloween. Yep, not big on Halloween either, but this year we seemed to have triple the amount of trick and treaters come to our door.

  10. Vivienne on November 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    wow what a yummmmy treat! I dont normally do any halloween baking as well…im glad you hopped on the bandwagon this year tho!

    haha wonder what happened to your kitchen while u made the marshmallow. the first time i made it there was sticky mess everywhere 😉

  11. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on November 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    These look great! And that chocolate drip photo just begs to be licked!

  12. Jennifer (Delicieux) on November 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I’ve never tried pumpkin in a sweet recipe before. I keep hearing amazing things, I really do have to try it.

    I love the photo of the chocolate oozing over the top of your bars 😀

  13. Iron Chef Shellie on November 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    oh look at the sexy chocolate dripping shot!!

    I don’t get Halloween… but I’m a nutter for Xmas too!!

  14. Von on November 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I prefer Christmas and Easter over Halloween too, but I always love the fun things people make during halloween! 😀
    Your original idea of a jack-o-lantern cake sounds awesome, but this one sounds like it tastes even better!! I’m not too much of a fan of pumpkin, though if you pair it with marhsmallow and chocolate like this, I’m sure I’d love it! 🙂

  15. Melanie @ Melanie Cooks on November 21, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Looks so delicious! I love that photo of the marshmallow bars with dripping chocolate!

  16. Karen on November 21, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I don’t celebrate Halloween that much either, besides watching spooky movies! Great job with marshmallows, looking super delish 🙂

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These views are mine and mine only. I don't claim to be any kind of professional food critic, I just know what I do and don't like and express accordingly. Please contact me first if you wish to use any of my images for another purpose.