Saturday, November 04, 2006
Maple-Pecan Layer Cake
I have a membership in the Cooking Club of America. I was lured by a screaming deal on the fee and the fact that part of the membership included a subscription to the club's magazine, Cooking Pleasures. I like the magazine a lot; the recipes are good and there's always decent information in them. However, I have three other subsciptions - Canadian Living, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet, and of all four, Cooking Pleasures is the least bang for my buck. It's bi-monthly and just as much money as the others. So, when my membership is up in March, I'm going to let it lapse.
This recipe came from the most recent issue of Cooking Pleasures (I adapted the instructions somewhat). There was a whole section on pecans and the nuts happened to be on sale last week at Save-On Foods. It's a grea cake, and dense enough to be used for such things as tiered cakes, where the cake needs to be heavier to provide structure. I only have 8" cake pans, but this still worked well, even though the recipe calls for 9" pans.
Maple-Pecan Layer Cake
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup finely grated or ground pecans, toasted (I had whole pecans that I pulsed in the food processor and toasted them gently in a frying pan over medium heat)
2/3 cup sour cream (I used plain yogurt, which worked)
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9" round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy - 4 minutes or so. Add eggs one by one, then vanilla. Beat until well combined. Add the pecans and sour cream and stir until combined.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Fold gently into the butter/egg mixture and then divide the batter evenly between the pans.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
For the icing:
Beat the butter until fluffy and sift in the icing sugar. Add the maple syrup and beat until smooth and well-combined. Ice the cake and top with the chopped pecans. Serve and enjoy.
Let me know what you think.