pumpkin spice cake with maple glaze

english has always been my favorite language. i was reading english children’s books before i read them in german. in fact, i think my mom is to thank for this. she was always a great storyteller and encouraged reading. so, not surprisingly, even though my speaking is a little rusty (ahem, not nearly enough holidays abroad?), i still love to write and think in this language on a daily basis. and sometimes, i practice by talking to myself in english (but don’t tell anyone, they might think i’m a weirdo…). some things just sound better in english than in german. can you believe that sometimes, when i’m looking for the perfect german word, an english one is popping to my mind instead..?
through the years, i’ve collected a neat list of favorite english terms. here goes everything:
alas. period.
awol. short for ‘absent withoutout leave’. isn’t this opening up worlds? kopfkino*! 
bogus. fake – but somehow fun?
dare-devil. one who is recklessly bold deserves such a good title.
dollop. it means ‘a spoonful of something’ – and doesn’t it sound just like that, too? *dollop*
fancy-schmancy. and any other german-y sounding words, like for example ‘to schlep’.
flamboyant. conspicuously dashing and colorful.
hurly-burly. a rather cute word for something noisy and out of order.
luscious. i’ve been wanting a luscious mane all my life. yeah, well.
palooza. sounds utterly dahlian to me.
serendipity. don’t we all need a couple more serendipitous moments in our lives?
shebang: everything about this word is great; the whole shebang.
soliloquy. round and soft, like a song itself. 
tangerine. not my favorite color, but definitely a nice, zesty sound.
toddler. i can almost hear them toddling around; quite onomatopoeic.
whimsy. because there isn’t a nearly good enough word in german to describe it.
i’d like to know: what are your favorite (sounding or in terms of meaning) english words? and why?
i’m not really sure it’s time for yet another cake recipe. but then again, is there ever a time that’s not right for cake? there you have it. by the way, thanks, k, for offering your (dazzling, adorned) hand! makes the cake look so much better, don’t y’all agree?
pumpkin spice cake with maple glaze

ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. fine sea salt
2 tbsp. gingerbread spice
2 cups pumpkin mash (i had to make it since we don’t get that here)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
additional 1 cup pure maple syrup (for the glaze)
directions:
if you have to make the pumpkin mash (that is: if you simply don’t find it anywhere…) then just chop a medium sized pumpkin (i used butternut squash) into large chunks and cook it in water until tender. drain and puree, then chill until used (i made it 1 day ahead). 
preheat the oven to 220 degrees c / 325 f and oil the bottom and sides of a round cake pan (mine was, i guess, 26cm / 8 inches large). in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, sea salt and gingerbread spice. in a large bowl, mix pumpkin mash, eggs, olive oil, and maple syrup until well blended. add the dry ingredients and mix just until thoroughly combined. transfer the batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean (i baked it for a bit less than 50 minutes). cool for 10 minutes before using a knife to loosen the sides of the pan, then removing it.
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 for a minute or so, then drizzle over the cake. serve warm or at room temperature: the maple glaze will harden as it cools.

* a nice german (!) word for once! yay! it literally means ‘cinema in your head’. no need for explanation, right?

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