Moving: Maple Pumpkin Cake + Giveaway

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

-The only thing I could make amidst the chaos.-

New house. New house.

No, sadly, not my own house. Finances aren't that perfect. Yet. Fiancee and I are renting a house. Our first actually. It feels like we're moving up in the world a bit.

Since this crazy flood-slash-mold issue isn't getting resolved properly anytime soon and the (now ex) roommate is stuck in legal battles with the complex owners, Fiancee and I have decided to finally just cut bait from the whole thing and run.

And running, it seems, usually comes to be a good thing rental-wise. I seem to land in better and better places every time a disaster destroys the last one. When God closes the door in your old apartment (or burns it down, or floods it, or infects it with mold, or buries it under a roof collapse, or explodes it in the neighbor's meth lab explosion), a window in a much better property opens. Or so it seems to be for me.

Maybe I'm just jinxed when it comes to real estate?

-I know I'm not jinxed with maple syrup at least. (Image from The Federation of Quebec Maple Farmers.)-

Either way, the new place is bigger. Huge kitchen with more light than a glow stick factory, a gas range, and a new fridge. No dishwasher (ick) but washer and dryer (yay!). Yard big enough to have - dare I say? - a dog. Or better yet, a lemon tree?!

Unfortunately, the only problem with moving is the move. I frickin' hate it. And though with age comes the luxury of no longer relying on friends with trucks and finally being able to just hire movers everything still must be carefully sorted, boxed, labeled, hauled, unpacked, and reorganized and I just hate hate HATE it.

The back and forth from house to truck? Lord, I practically wilt at thought of it. I may have kitchen hands that proudly bear scars from peeling flats of plums with a pairing knife or boiling sugar, but damn if they aren't dainty things that simply detest carrying heavy loads.

The other thing I loathe besides all those boxes is that they have imprisoned within them the things I need. Particularly my kitchen; all of it properly wrapped in the daily paper and smartly stacked. A few exceptions exist: two plates, some forks, a large bowl, and a baking pan I found under the bathroom sink for whatever reason I can't figure out why.


-I also found a bottle of tequila and maxi pads. I am not sure if the they are all related. God, I hope not.-

Lucky for me the actual pantry hasn't been packed yet. Of course, there isn't a ton in it, either. Less to pack and all. Still, something homemade sounds delightful after two days of take out. I've taken in so much fried food I can actually smell it on myself, and that, dear reader, is not a way to feel sexy about oneself.

Upon inspection of the pantry I am not disappointed: canned pumpkin and various baking supplies are readily available. Excellent. Even more so was the sampler package of maple syrup sitting out on the counter.

It came to me after I had been contacted by The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers a few months ago and they asked if I wanted to sample some various grades of maple syrup.

Now, having some family in Canada I have some experience with Canadian maple syrups. The verdict is that they kick ass: they have a sharp, brown sugary flavor that at times is reminiscent of Delget Noor dates. Furthermore, Canadian Grade B syrup seems to have more potency than those made in Vermont (sorry, Vermont). This means that you can taste the maple more in baked goods, which is great because if you've ever baked with maple syrup you know how subtle it can be in the final product. Sometimes far too much so.

This all being the way of things, I said yes. I can't resist real maple syrup (the fake ones available at the local markets taste like too-sweet cheap candy) and I was eager to try some for cooking and eating.

A few weeks later a small package with four grades of maple syrup arrived. Grade A Light, Medium, and Dark; and Grade B. For those on you not in the know maple syrup is essentially graded based on it's intensity. Maple syrup, as you may well know, is tapped from maple trees. As the season advances, the syrup becomes darker and more caramelized in flavor as it cures in the trees.

-Picture provided by The Federation of Quebec Maple Farmers. I couldn't take anything as pretty as this.-

Essentially the breakdown is this:

Grade A Light Amber: Simple, delicate, with a taste of light brown sugar.

Grade A Medium Amber: Forward in flavor with a dark brown sugar taste.

Grade A Dark Amber: Strong caramel flavor that finishes with a taste of dates. Intense mapleness.

Grade B: Pleasing notes of burnt sugar. The maples flavor is almost overwhelmingly intense. Spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg reveal themselves at the end. Most often used in cooking and rarely used at the table.

I grabbed the Grade B and decided to go to work making a simple Maple-Pumpkin cake. Now, I love pumpkin products. I do. However, for me, they're usually too one-dimensional. They ALL taste the same. Pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Had it before. No thank you.

This pumpkin cake is unique in that it relies on maple syrup to give it depth of flavor and character. The cake is sweet and dense, and the maple stands out and supports the musky pumpkin flavor with a flavor of caramel and cooked brown sugar.

It was a welcome reprieve from packing boxes for a bit. A bit of sugar to keep us moving later.

Of course, Fiancee is getting irritated that he's stacking my cookbooks in boxes while I blog so I must move on.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers has been kind enough to offer two prizes up for Vanilla Garlic readers: samplers of their various grades of maple syrup. To enter just leave a comment here on this post. Next, I encourage you to go to Canadian Maple Syrup's Facebook page and follow them so you can keep updated on what's going down in the world of maple syrup. All entries must be received by midnight, October 31st. Two winners will be chosen at random by me. Be sure to check back at this blog on November 1st to see if you've won. Please no anonymous comments as you will be ineligible to win. You must use a name or screen name to enter.

Good luck!


Maple-Pumpkin Cake

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup of Grade B maple syrup
1 tablespoon of water (or Bourbon)
small handful of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan by spraying it with baking spray or lightly buttering and flouring it.

2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and sugars. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the pumpkim puree, olive oil, eggs, maple syrup, and water. Mix in the flour mixture.

4. Pour into the prepared baking pan, top with pepitas, and bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out of the center clean. Turn out of pan and cool on a wire rack.

Note: I was not paid or compensated for this post (except I got to keep the maple syrup samples that I promptly devoured). I chose to review this product because I truly love it. Prizes are sponsored by The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.

135 comments:

  1. May I suggest a portable dishwasher? I lived in a house without a built in and it was definitely ick! until I found out they make portable ones.

    The cake looks delicious!

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  2. Congrats on the new place! Gas range! Exciting!

    If you need any help moving, just call your fellow food bloggers :)

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  3. This cake looks so tasty! I love the idea of doing something different than pumpkin, I will definitely be trying this recipe. And those syrups sound absolutely divine!

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  4. I'm with you as far as moving goes...HATE it.
    I only buy Grade B Canadian maple syrup, and we use it for/on everything. I've got a pie pumpkin sitting on my kitchen counter, I think I just found it's purpose. Thanks, Garrett! (Good luck with the move, too.)

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  5. I had a mold/roof leak issue in my last apartment, and haven't looked back since I moved out. The moving sucks, but there's nothing like the peace of mind not wondering whether the roof will cave in above you while you sleep :)

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  6. I think I will go into the kitchen and make this right about......now! Thanks for the recipe. (And we only use grade B.....so delish :)

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  7. Your new rental sounds wonderful. I notice that every time I move, my must-haves for the next place change. After watching too many cooking shows, a gas range is on the list for the next place.

    I'm not sure I've had real maple syrup before. On the rare occasions I use it, it's the store-bought fake stuff. And as you said, it's much too sweet. Maybe it's time to try the real thing... And I love pumpkin. :)

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  8. Oh man, I rarely feel justified in splurging on maple syrup, so I would love some! Also got me thinking about different ways to play up the pumpkin flavor . . .

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  9. I absolutely love maple syrup and maple candy (which, surprisingly, is so incredibly easy to make). I'm envious of your taste testing!

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  10. I absolutely love maple syrup and maple candy (which, surprisingly, is incredibly easy to make). I am envious of your maple taste testing!

    Belated congrats to you both on the engagement, by the way, from a long-term reader who doesn't post.

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  11. This cake looks fantastic, can't wait to make it! Happy moving :D

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  12. I had no clue there was so much to know about maple syrup!

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  13. Looks Delicious! Think I'd want to add a little scoop of maple bourbon ice cream, YUM!

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  14. I found it interesting that they say Grade B is rarely used at table... it's all we use around here!

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  15. I second the portable dishwasher suggestion. My friend has one and it's lovely.

    I am very excited to try this recipe. Maple is my favorite. I've been known to buy grade C....

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  16. congratulations on the move.

    the bread looks super yummy. i have never used candian maple syrup and would like to try it.

    jacquieastemborski AT comcast DOT net

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  17. I love the idea of a pumpkin loaf that tastes different. I agree that they always seem to taste the same!

    I know that grade B is rarely used at the table, but my husband and I love maple syrup so much we use it exclusively.

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  18. I love the idea of a pumpkin loaf that doesn't taste like every other pumpkin loaf--especially when it involves maple syrup! My husband and I love grade B syrup on everything.

    You have a wonderful blog and I look forward to your post each week.

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  19. Sorry, I'm a grade B all the time girl. I also drown pancakes, waffles, and occasionally a spoon with it.

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  20. Those chemical-laden fake syrups can't hold a candle to real maple syrup! Congrats on the house! I HATE moving, but it sounds like it will all be worth it once you're settled in.

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  21. Syrups looks yummy! I wasn't aware about Grade B. Yesterday I roasted some pie pumpkins to have the pulp to bake with. I left them in the oven a bit too long and they were quite charred. Looked (and smelled) burnt. Then I decided to taste some just to see how it was. It was delicious! Very sweet. I'm thinking I would hardly need to add any sugar. So I was able to salvage 3 cups and am planning to roast more. I have pumpkin bars to make for a Halloween gathering next week, pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and now have to add your Maple Pumpkin Cake to the lineup.

    Don't want to hear anyone complain about moving. We moved 5 times in 3 years.

    You don't need a dishwasher for only you and fiance. I love to wash dishes. Drying them I hate, so they just go into a drainer. It's more sanitary to let them drip dry anyway. I also am not fond of putting them away but I'd rather put away just a drainer full than a whole dishwasher load.

    Congrats on the new house! You'll have fun there. New engagement, new house, new beginnings!

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  22. Portable dishwashers are awesome, ours has a butcher block top. I just finished baking a pumpkin from the garden and then read your post. Pumpkin butter and pumpkin cake will be up shortly! Thanks!!

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  23. I love maple anything. Will have to try this recipe for sure!

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  24. Belated congratulations on your engagement, and congratulations on the house!

    Thanks for coordinating the giveaway, Garrett!

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  25. OMG! Just pulled this out of the oven and couldn't wait to try a bite.....so wonderful! I made a few modifications: 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/4c. less white sugar and coconut oil instead of olive oil. Turned out amazing. Thanks so much :)

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  26. I'm totally with you on the maple syrup front. I've heard vague rumors of grade C existing somewhere, and being amazing. I'm also super excited about trying a sweet pumpkin recipe that doesn't include nutmeg or any of its taste cousins as I hate the taste of nutmeg, and can detect even the smallest hint.

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  27. But... Vermont! I haven't compared the terroirs of Vermont vs. Canadian syrup, but until I do, I will stand steadfastly in defense of the best state ever!

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  28. We used a portable dishwasher for a while and they are so worth it. Thanks for the recipe! I will give it a go this weekend. Finally going to have some cooler weather this weekend and I will serve it with espresso and Bailey's

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  29. Married to a U.S. Marine, I'm well acquainted with the joys of moving. We're so used it it we have somewhat of a system down, but it's still not somethign we look forward to. Hope yours is smooth and relatively painless. If not, you can wash all your woes away with maple syrup every which way!

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

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  30. I believe I have some Grade B syrup in the fridge, and a pumpkin that's just waiting to be pureed. Now if I can just find the motivation to move away from the computer and into the kitchen.
    Congrats on the new house. The move is always horrid, but it will be so worth it when you're done and in your own space.

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  31. Pumpkin cake that relies on maple syrup instead of spices--very interesting. I have bought some pumpkins to pickle. Another intriguing concept. We'll see how it goes.

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  32. I read today that you can supposedly tell a lot about a person by what they throw away... I must be very secretive as I don't throw much away! Hoarder no, but I hate packing up to move as I have too much stuff!

    PS It's not all mine!

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  33. I'd love to win some maple syrup samples! Yummy!

    I second the commenters who mentioned portable dishwashers...my co-blogger doesn't have a dishwasher, and when you cook a lot handwashing everything is a nightmare!

    - Maggie

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  34. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO making this tonight! I have been obsessed with all sorts of squash this season, but have yet to do anything with pumpkin yet, so this seems perfect ('specially since I flaked on my first recipe testing assignment for you... :-( )

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  35. Yum, that looks lovely. I can sort of sympathize with the moving thing cause I have to move in and out of a dorm every year...not fun at all.

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  36. Great post, lots of giggles! Have to say though, I'm sitting here in sunny Queensland, Australia thinking 'how the hell am I going to emulate this recipe with the naff 'maple-syrup-esque' excuses we have over here?!' Woe is me! Maybe I need some samples too... ;) xo

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  37. God that cake looks heavenly. If I win the syrup I will be sure to make it!

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  38. Oh man. I think this recipe was the kick I needed to finally go out and pick up some gluten free all purpose flour (had to make the switch a couple months ago, it's been hard :( ). I would love to try this out with a sampler pack :)

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  39. I hate moving, and I hate when friends move because, sadly, they often move where the jobs are, and that's not necessarily where I am. Of course, when they do move, I inherit their left-over baking ingredients! I inherited a very dark maple syrup that is so flavorful. I might try it in your recipe. Good luck with the move. You can do it!

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  40. That recipe looks amazing and might finally make a pumpkin & maple lover out of husband who only eats sweet potato and Maple Goodies. Yay!

    More importantly, how about a potted Meyer lemon tree AND a dog?

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  41. Grade B maple syrup is delightful! Now I have to go taste Vermont and Canadian side-by-side!

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  42. Congratulations on the new rental!

    That cake looks amazing! I will have to invest in some maple syrup soon so I can make it myself.

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  43. They make portable dishwashers?!?

    I think I have to make this; pumpkin things are my husband's favorite. Congratulations on the engagement and the new house!

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  44. Looks delicious! Something I'd very much like to try.

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  45. This cake looks like a welcome escape from the standard pumpkin dessert as (you said it best) . . "They ALL taste the same. Pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Had it before. No thank you." Recipe is printed & filed. Thanks!

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  46. I'm moving too (also to a place without a dishwasher!), and I feel your pain. Great cake photos!

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  47. Being from the South, I'm more of a cane-syrup-with-breakfast kind of girl, but I love the idea of cooking with different grades of maple syrup.
    And best of luck with the move -- I think new spaces are kind of exciting (even if the actual moving isn't)!

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  48. First off, having recently downgraded from a free washer/dryer in my apartment to a crappy pay washer dryer in the terrifying basement of this Victorian, I'd gladly give up my dishwasher for what you have going on! That said, I've been hitting up relatives for lunch once a week, just so I can do my laundry in their house, but the added bonus of free food and loving family is pretty good.

    I love the combination of the maple syrup and olive oil in this cake. Bookmarking!

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  49. Congratulations on the new place - it will feel lovely once you've unpacked (packing is the absolute worst). We've had a long running debate here on VT vs. Canadian syrup, so I'd like to get some hard facts, of course. Also, the pumpkin bread from the Tartine cookbook is quite nice - just made it - and relies on nutmeg in addition to maple.

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  50. Yum yum yum. Was just explaining to the toddler the other day about sap and syrup after she picked up a particularly sticky pinecone. She is addicted. (to syrup that is). I am definitely making this cake for an upcoming bake sale. Good luck with the move - and a big kitchen is a plus, and get the Fiancee to do the dishes!

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  51. Moving is deplorable. Maple syrup is delicious. Congrats on your engagement and I hope that your new place is much less moldy/gross than what you've had to deal with recently!

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  52. New follower sent over by Dee at Deelicious Sweets. I have to say I was so happy to get here. I mean Maple Syrup, I'm a Canuck so it's like kismet. Great recipe and wonderful explanation of the different types of syrup. Also congrats on the new digs. I was also reading the post before this and a big congrats on the engagement as well. Sounded so romantic. I always tease hubby and say he proposed by nudging me with his foot on the couch and saying "hey we should get hitched." He gets really irritated which makes me laugh so it's all good.

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  53. I've moved three times in as many years so I can sympathize. Moving sucks.

    The cake looks fantastic. It shall go on my list 'o things to make before the end of November.

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  54. No dishwasher? Dear lord!

    This Maple Pumpkin Cake would keep me moving. I'll come help if you bake for me!

    By the way, I left you an award on my blog. You don't have to do anything with it but I did write up a nice little ditty about you if you would like to hop over and read it :)

    If you're wondering, I left the award before I read that you were having a give away. I'm not trying to brown nose my way in to some maple syrup but that would sure be a nice perk!

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  55. I have been combing the internet for Pumpkin Cake and this looks perfect plus I love using maple syrup as sweetner.

    Now, if you could provide the maple syrup and save me a trip to the store, that'd be super :)

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  56. Yum! Gotta try the cake. And syrup? Double yum.

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  57. That looks delicious! Pumpkin is to me as eggplant is to you. I used to hate it. But at some point, something changed, and now I can't get enough. We're totally bros. :)

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  58. The cake looks divine. I suppose maple extract is inferior to real syrup?

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  59. Portable dishwasher is definitely the way to go. They roll around the kitchen and provide an extra prep surface too. Your post has inspired me to sample all the maple syrups now! I've always been a Grade B fan for normal eating. My last adventure with maple syrup was using it instead of corn syrup to make Simply Recipes' pecan pie - it was amazing. Can't wait to try out the maple pumpkin cake.

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  60. That cake looks scrumptious! Good luck with the move...

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  61. Ooooooh! Pick me! Pick me! I love Grade B. :)

    Anywho, I have been following your blog for quite some time. Your stories gave me much needed breaks while I was completing my masters. And it was nice to hear about your pains through graduate school as well. BTW, congrats on the engagement!

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  62. Congratulations on moving on up! The lack of dishwasher sucks, though ...

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  63. Sounds delicious -- I can't find Grade B syrup where I live. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  64. I can't find Grade B syrup where I live. Thanks for the giveway. Would love to try the sampler.

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  65. Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to try Grade B for once.

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  66. Mm looks yummy! Thanks for the giveaway, Garrett.

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  67. Congratulations on the move! You needed it! After reading about the previous disasters, I always wondered why you just wouldn't move. I'm glad you're doing so now :) And the pumpkin bread looks *gahhh, drools* delicious! :) Blessings to you and maple is the bomb.edu ;)

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  68. Growing up in Northeastern Ohio, I was a member of a group called the GibsonGirls, along with my older by 4 years sister. We wore white boots and cheerleader like outfits and twirled batons. We also marched in every local parade there was around Cleveland, including the Burton Maple sugar festival! When I was kid, I looked forward to that parade the most, mostly because at the Thanksgiving & Christmas parades, I would freeze my *ss off!

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  69. Yummm, that cake looks amazing! Love maple syrup =) Enjoy the new place!

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  70. We love real maple syrup in this household! Our favorite use is actually on roasted brussel sprouts. The bf eats them like candy.

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  71. Do you think butternut squash would work as a substitute here? I tend to have butternuts more frequently than pumpkins.

    I second the portable dishwasher if you abhor hand-washing of dishes. Friends had one and it prevented housemate squabbles.

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  72. I figured I had to wait to comment until I had made this. Well, I made it...it's wonderful! I used vegetable oil in place of the olive oil because I was out, Grade A syrup, substituted a 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for white and added 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (I couldn't resist). It has a wonderful crumb and an intoxicating fragrant scent. It reminds me of my mom's pumpkin bread -- she uses molasses for a cross with gingerbread. This is a lighter, albeit different version of that.
    Thanks for the inspiration and great recipe!

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  73. Urgh, moving. I just did it this summer. Good luck! I am sure the cake will help!

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  74. I second the maple syrup / brussels sprouts combo! So good!

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  75. This cake looks marvelous, maple syrup adds wonderful depth to so many dishes. One of my favorite treats is to sweeten my morning coffee with it, but being rather expensive this is only allowed on quite special occasions.

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  76. Sounds tasty. Wish I could make and at some.

    I did want to mention that you can get a portable dishwasher that attaches to the faucet. I have one and it makes life SO much easier. LOL! Whirlpool makes a nice one. http://www.whirlpool.com/kitchen-1/dishwasher-%26-cleaning-2/dishwashers-3/102110034/ Might be worth looking into.

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  77. It cheered me up to read of how much you hate moving, I am so in agreement! Our house is on the market, which is like a prolonged open-ended move, complete with stuff in storage to get the "staged" house look. Renting beats this, no doubt. Get out and get gone, no muss no fuss. Except the moving thing.
    Hope you and BFF love your new house.I have a dishwasher, but when I really cook, I just handwash anyway.It would take two dishwashers to handle the dirty dishes.

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  78. It looks both healthy and delicious!

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  79. As a Canadian the only kind of maple syrup that I use is the real kind although until today I didn't know there were different grades of it.

    I am always looking for new ways to use pumpkin and this one looks delicious. I may have to go buy some more pumpkin and make this later today.

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  80. One of my friends shared some Canadian maple syrup with me recently, and it couldn't make a better gift! I didn't ask what grade it was, but it was pretty dark, so I'm guessing B according to your descriptions above, especially because the flavor definitely came through in the maple pumpkin muffins and an apple cake that I baked! Also discovered the best oatmeal combination: maple date! I've only got a few drops left of that amber goodness now though, and just this morning I was wondering what I could do to get my hands on some more... thanks for the giveaway! I'm glad to get to know your blog since clicking over from twitter...

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  81. hopefully there is a good garden plot.

    Montreal born Canadian, Catherine

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  82. Excellent! I've been looking for something tasty and not run-of-the-mill to do with the pumpkin I painstakingly pureed myself. I really wish I could buy canned pumpkin in Europe! Or at least find it...

    Congratulations on the engagement and moving! I'm actually not so grumpy about the moving itself. It's what comes after that makes me want to run away: not being able to find anything in the multitude of boxes for weeks while you unpack. And it takes forever to relegate things to their new proper places, too.

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  83. love me some grade B, that's all i've got in my house! and i'm jealous of your new gas stove :)

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  84. What a great post! When I was young my family would make an annual trip up to Quebec to the old 'cabine' to help with the sugaring and boiling of syrup. The first few years I went up they still used horse and sled to collect the sap, but after that moved to tractors. I was so lucky to have the experience. Any talk of real maple syrup, the different grades and flavors always reminds me of the hard work that goes into the making of it.
    Not to mention the recipe looks amazing! Thanks!

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  85. Good luck with the move! Hoping it all goes smooth and nothing important gets broken! What a great giveaway. Im crossing my fingers :)

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  86. Congratulations on the new house and (belatedly) your engagement! This cake looks mighty tasty! I'm on a personal baking moratorium until after next weekend; I've got 300 cupcakes to bake for my daughter's wedding, including 100 pumpkin cupcakes, so until I've got that project out of the way, no baking for a round the house! Of course, as soon as the cupcakes are done, your pumpkin cake will go to the top of the list! Surprisingly, I've actually got everything I need, including the grade b syrup, so I'm good to go!

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  87. That looks incredible! I've been on a pumpkin kick recently and am looking forward to making this!

    Congrats on the move, I've moved over 20 times in my life (I stopped counting at 20) and the packing/moving it all/unpacking has always sucked, but once you're in the new place, you forget about the getting there process and can enjoy where you are!

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  88. I was just thinking today about how I need more maple syrup but that I don't know much about the grades. This giveaway is perfect for me!

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  89. I do believe I've got just enough pumpkin purée in the freezer waiting for this recipe to be made! Looks so yummy!

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  90. Being without a dishwasher is surprisingly manageable. Our broken one was just replaced yesterday after five months of functioning only as a very bulky drying rack. We got very efficient at hand washing and even though the new one has been installed, I just washed all my baking mess in the sink out of habit and didn't have to wait on the dishwasher to clean them to start a second project. It's actually kind of nice that way, though I'm sure I'll be grateful for the dishwasher after our next dinner party.

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  91. Since the SO's offspring graduated from school in Vermont last spring I've been carefully nursing that last quart of Grade B. This recipe will just make it disappear faster...

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  92. A gas range?! The move might be worth it!

    I love the idea of combining maple & pumpkin...I bet that would make for some delicious whoopie pies, too.

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  93. I'm just starting out with both my own homemade vanilla extract AND looking into different maple syrups - gotta love being able to experiment with foodstuffs!

    I love pumpkin as well, and this cake will be my next project.

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  94. So happy you found a place that you will love! I love my house, especially my kitchen...it's huge! However, I will be moving soon to a BIG city and I'm a little nervous about it! I'm scared to not have an awesome kitchen!

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  95. Being Australian, and therefore coming from a non-baked-pumpkin-desserts culture, this recipe fascinates me! And oh, how I'd love endless maple syrup to play around with...

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  96. I detest the maple "flavoured" offerings that are little more than darkened corn syrup... Grade B is what graces my pancakes and waffles, thank you very much. From Michigan, if possible.

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  97. I agree. Real maple syrup is SO much better. I would love to try the different grades and compare the flavors.

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  98. When I was still living in Australia, Maple Syrup was available in grocery stores but the cost was prohibitive. I use it a lot more these days since moving to the US.

    What a lovely giveaway, thank you! :-))

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  99. thanks for the breakdown of the different grades.. i had been wondering the difference..

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  100. DROOL! Maple pumpkin cake sounds aaa-mazing! I would love to try baking it myself with some sassy Canadian maple syrup!

    Congrats on the new place and the engagement, how very exciting!! :)

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  101. Mmm, I love maple syrup, but I don't think I've ever tried it from Canada. Sounds tasty.

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  102. Sounds amazing but I'll stick with my Vermont syrup, after all, half the people I work with take time off from their job to tap trees and boil sap when the times right. ;) Love my state!

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  103. Wow I love the idea of that maple syrup! I've never really liked maple syrup or pumpkin anything because of how fake and same-tasting they are, so the idea that both can be new and different...and together! sounds awwwweeeesome!! :-D

    Also, good luck moving, I just moved at work and at home recently and both were seriously no fun...in fact the home move isn't really even finished yet! :-(

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  104. But which grade of maple syrup goes best with spaghetti ala Buddy from "Elf"?

    The recipe looks yummy and I think I'll try the bourbon version!

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  105. Maple pumpkin cake sounds like such a yummy fall treat!

    FYI, when you spell fiancée with 2 e's, it's in the feminine form. In the masculine, it's fiancé.

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  106. Must make my try for the maple syrup, YUM Garrett! Sadly, I could only look at the picture and recipe of this particular bread and mourn, alas, pumpkin is the only food product I am allergic to :(

    Yes, feel sorry for me please, it is so HARD to turn down the scones/ muffins/ breads/ pies/ pepitas etc that this time of year brings!

    Stupid allergies... I am imagining that substituting Acorn Squash would make it too sweet, and butternut might be a bit bland?

    Sigh...

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  107. I've been hooked on "real" maple syrup since I moved up here to the North Coast of Ohio, I can buy it fresh just a few miles away. Would love to taste the Canadian syrup! Also, congrats on the new house AND your engagement!

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  108. Tapping a tree for maple syrup was one of the highlights of my college spring breaks. (What doesn't everyone go north for the spring?)

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  109. Oddly, Grade B is all we have in our house. We use it to cook with and pour on pancakes. i guess it is because we got so used to its assertive flavor, all other pancake syrups taste kind of flat.

    In any case, I'm always willing to try out new 'vintages' of Grade B. Sign me up!

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  110. The grade B sounds intriguing. Thanks for the recipe. I am also so tired of the typical pumpkin desserts. Can't wait to try this one.

    Congrats on the upgrade from BF to Fiancee!!

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  111. It's such a great recipe for fall! Pumpkin and maple syrup compliment each other so well! :)

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  112. That looks amazing. I tend to love the *idea* of pumpkin flavoured things, but am also somewhat disappointed by how they all end up vaguely the same. If only it didn't cost an arm and a leg where I live to buy real maple syrup!

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  113. I bought a portable dishwasher when I was 9 years old with my first Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend check. We had just moved from a military row house to a house in the woods. It was money well spent.

    I live in Canada now and have had the extreem pleasure of using real maple syrup on my Uncle's special recipe buckwheat pancakes.

    Cheers on your new digs!

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  114. I've always been a Grade B fan. funny how so many people think it isn't as good because it is a "B" not an A. I actually use B at the table for pancakes and waffles!

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  115. mmmmmmmmm........pummmmmmpkinnnnnnnnn.

    my favorite pumpkin baked good is pumpkin bread pudding with rum sauce.

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  116. Mmm Maple Syrup! Of course Canada does it best! Of course, being Canadian, I may be biased.

    Moving can be a gigantic hassle, but isn't it so very worth it? And there's always the jigsaw-fun of playing with where your belongings are placed. I just moved myself and I love the freshness of having organised everything anew.

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  117. Wow, that is one killer and tasty looking recipe. I wonder if you have any garlic and other healthy recipes or remedies .

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  118. This sounds delicious! I'm planning to bake my pumpkins after Halloween, so I might have to give this a try.

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  119. YUM! Sounds wonderful! I am sadly now reading from afar (Munich, Germany) - so if I were to win, would you PLEASE be so kind as to have them ship it over here? I'm dying for real maple syrup and the Bavarians do NOT have it!

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  120. Grade B for BEST! Yet not sold in my ocal supermarket? What's the eal with that? Afraid it'll make your kid a grade B student?
    Jaime A

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  121. This sounds lovely! Now I am hungry! Also houses are awesome congratulations!

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  122. That cake looks DIVINE! I love real maple syrup.

    Good luck on the move. That only thing worse than moving is trying to find a job.

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  123. Yummy! I will definitely have to try this. I haven't tried Canadian maple syrup before, thanks for the tip! Best wishes on the move!!

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  124. Yummy! I will have to try this. I haven't tried Canadian maple syrups yet - thanks for the tip! Best wishes on the move!

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  125. fall is such a perfect time for maple. nom!

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  126. I have always wanted to try grade B syrup!

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  127. Your comment about fried food made me laugh out loud because it's just so true! I feel disgusting after too much fried food... Loved the primer on maple syrups!

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  128. Hoping my entry still counts and that your move goes well.

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  129. Recipe feedback: This is a fantastic recipe and has knocked my previous fav pumpkin bread off its mantle. A few changes:
    1. 1 c. whole wheat pastry and 5. all purpose flours
    2. reduced oil to 1/4 c. added mashed banana
    3. added 1/4-1/3 c. chopped ginger
    4. added dashes of nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger
    5. lined bottom of baking tin with cranberries prior to baking.
    6. Used flesh from one roasted sugar pie pumpkin rather than canned pumpkin.

    Result: Amazing. Great recipe.

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  130. As we make and bake cakes, we must have portable dishwasher to easy cleans mess after.

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Hey, you're leaving a comment! That's pretty darn cool, so thanks. If you have any questions or have found an error on the site or with a recipe, please e-mail me and I will reply as soon as possible.
~Garrett

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