Recipe courtesy of Jacques Torres

Pumpkin Cake

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 2 hr 30 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 1 pumpkin cake



For the decoration:

Classic Genoise:

Simple Syrup:


Special equipment:
Pumpkin Bavarian mold
  1. Make the Genoise according to the recipe and set aside.
  2. Bloom the gelatin in cold water to cover. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and set aside.
  3. Place the pumpkin, sugar and spices in a large glass bowl and stir to combine. Place about 1/4 cup of the pumpkin mixture into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the bloomed gelatin to the pan and stir to combine. The heat will melt the gelatin. Add the warm pumpkin to the remaining pumpkin mixture. Fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Use round cutters that are slightly smaller than the pumpkin mold to cut the cake. The pieces need to fit just inside the mold.
  5. Add the rum to the Simple Syrup and place the syrup in a squeeze bottle.
  6. Add a few spoons of the pumpkin Bavarian to the mold. Place a cake layer on top of the Bavarian and gently press into place. Soak the cake layer with the rum simple syrup. Repeat with another layer of pumpkin Bavarian, cake and simple syrup. Place the mold in the freezer for about 2 hours.
  7. When the cake has frozen, place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and whip until softened. Use a rubber spatula to fold the cream cheese into the whipped cream. Place the whipped cream cheese into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. To unmold the cake, dip the mold into hot water.
  8. Put raspberry and chocolate sauces in squeeze bottles. Fill the pumpkins mouth with raspberry sauce and his eyes and nose with chocolate sauce. Pipe the whipped cream cheese around the rim of the cake using any decoration.

Classic Genoise:

Yield: 2 baking sheets
  1. Place a 1-quart saucepan half filled with water over high heat and bring it to a simmer. Make a double boiler by setting a large mixing bowl over the simmering water. Place the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and honey in the mixing bowl and make an egg foam by whisking the mixture to 113 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 7 to 10 minutes. The egg foam passes through various stages becoming foamy, then smooth and finally it thickens. When it is thick, it will be hot to the touch, tripled in volume, and light in color and the sugar will have completely dissolved. If you dip the whisk into the mixture and pull it out, the batter should fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon.
  2. Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and whip the batter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until it cools, increases in volume, stiffens slightly and becomes pale yellow, about 7 to 10 minutes. Take the time to whip it well; if the mixture is underwhipped, the baked genoise will be dense. Very, very carefully, fold in the flour with a rubber spatula until the flour is no longer visible, making sure to fold to the bottom of the bowl. Do not overmix or the batter will deflate.
  3. Bake the genoise on a baking sheet: Spread the batter over a parchment paper-covered baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly and evenly browned and springy to the touch, about 10 minutes.
  4. Let the genoise cool slightly. Unmold and finish cooling on a wire rack to allow the air to circulate evenly around the cake. The baked genoise can be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 weeks if well wrapped in plastic wrap. Return it to room temperature before using it.
  5. Recipe courtesy, Jacques Torres Dessert Circus Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make At Home, 1999

Simple Syrup:

Yield: 2 1/3 cups
  1. Combine all 3 ingredients in a nonreactive 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. All the sugar crystals should completely dissolve. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean medium-size bowl. Let cool completely before using. If you are short on time, you can cool the syrup over an ice bath. Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator indefinitely if kept in an airtight container.
  2. Recipe courtesy Jacques Torres, Dessert Circus Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make At Home, 1999