Behold the Cucurbita maxima!
Aliases: Japanese Squash, Orange Hokkaido Squash, Baby Red Hubbard Squash, Uchiki Kuri Squash or simply Red Kuri Squash (I like the “Hubbard” option because it makes me think Old Mother Hubbard lived in a squash).
This brightly colored squash boasts a bold, sweet, nutty flavor. Unlike its more famed Jack-o-Lantern relation, which requires an arsenal of spices to accent its flavor, you can take a delicious bite of red kuri squash right after roasting (with a smidgeon of butter of course). With such a strong flavor, red kuri squash makes a great addition to autumnal recipes at both the sweet and savory ends of the spectrum. Since my tooth swings sweet, my first kuri squash recipe of the season happened to be a cake for the sake of brunch. Since I could eat maple syrup everyday and have an affinity for bourbon, those elements conveniently found their way into the recipe as well.
Note: This cake will not last long! Even when my sole mission was to take a picture of the cake, I found myself slicing a piece and enjoying it with a cup of tea.
Chocolate Chip Kuri Cake
w/ Maple Glaze & Bourbon Whipped Cream
2 cups organic whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 cups organic kuri squash, roasted and puréed
3 eggs (local/free-range)
2 Tablespoons organic molasses
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup organic chocolate chips
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Oil the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan (or use a similar sized square or round pan).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
In a large bowl, mix squash, eggs, olive oil, and molasses until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until thoroughly combined.
Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips.
Transfer the batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before using a knife to loosen the sides of the pan, then removing it.
1 cup pure maple syrup
While the cake is cooling, cook 1 cup maple syrup over heat for 7-8 minutes, or until it thickens/reduces slightly. Let it cool slightly, then drizzle over the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature (the maple glaze will harden as it cools).
Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 cup organic heavy cream
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2-3 Tablespoons bourbon
For the Whipped Cream
Combine all the ingredients except the bourbon in a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip until peaks form. Add the bourbon and mix to incorporate. Keep chilled until ready to serve.