Tag Archives: pecan

Triple layer maple & pecan cake…any excuse!

Last weekend I had 3 events to celebrate…

  1. Girls on tour…a weekend away for my good friend Nic’s hen.
  2. My friend Bee growing old very gracefully.
  3. and last but not least ‘The Afternoon Tease’s’ 2nd blog birthday! (I wonder…are blog years like dog years?)
To be honest I don’t usually need an excuse so to have 3 was epic! I thought I’d use them to revisit this divine triple layer (see what I did there) maple and pecan cake, originally from the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book…

It’s a gorgeous cake, very moist and decadent and as I recently discovered after lugging it all the way from Cambridge to Brighton…it’s very heavy!
To give it a go for yourself you need…

120g unsalted butter

400g caster sugar

360g plain flour

1.5 tbsp (this is NOT a typo 😉 I do mean tablespoons not teaspoons!) baking powder

0.25 tsp salt

360ml milk

40ml maple syrup

3 eggs

100g pecans, chopped

And for the icing…

240g unsalted butter

750g icing sugar

60ml milk

1 tbsp maple syrup

pecan halves to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease and line the base of 3, 8 inch cake tins. Personally, I only have 2 tins so I divide the cake mixture between them, two thirds in one and one third in the other. If you do the same you’ll just need to leave the larger cake in the oven to cook for a little while longer.

So, now to get cracking, use a handheld or freestanding electric mixer to mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.

In a jug or bowl mix together the milk, maple syrup and eggs. Gradually pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on a slow speed until it’s well combined. Finally stir in the chopped pecans by hand.

Divide the cake mixture between your tins and pop them into the oven. If you’re using 3 tins they will need to cook for 20-25 minutes. Due to my cake tin deficiency, I removed my ‘one third’ cake after 20 minutes and checked that it was cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre and making sure that it came out clean. I left the ‘two thirds’ cake in the oven for a further 10 minutes before doing the skewer test, which I then did every 5 minutes until it came out clean, meaning my cake was perfectly cooked 🙂

Leave your cakes to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing them from their tins to cool completely. 

In the meantime you can prepare the icing…

Pop the butter on a plate in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it (this will minimise the icing sugar snow storm that’s about to ensue). Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the butter and mix with an electric handheld or freestanding mixer until sandy in consistency and your kitchen is coated in a fine layer of icing sugar dust 🙂 

Mix the milk and maple syrup together in a jug and add to the icing sugar mixture gradually, whilst mixing on a slow speed. Once it’s all added, crank up the speed and beat until soft and fluffy!

When you’re satisfied that your cakes are totally cold (don’t jump the gun or your icing will melt), you can assemble your cake. First cut the ‘two thirds’ cake in half. Put the first layer of cake on a plate and spread a layer of about 2 to 3 tablespoons of icing on top of it. I recommend having a glass of boiling water to hand to dip your (palette) knife into, this makes the icing a lot easier to spread! However, make sure you dry your knife after dipping it in the water, you just want it to be warm not wet!

Place your next layer of cake on top of the first one and repeat the process of spreading a layer of icing over it before placing the final layer on top. Pile all of the remaining icing on top of the cake and patiently work it down the edge of the cake so that the whole thing is coated. Use the same method of heating your (palette) knife to get a nice smooth finish. This takes practice so don’t worry if yours looks a bit ‘rustic’ I can guarantee that it’ll taste AMAZING anyway 🙂

To give it a pretty finishing touch decorate the top with the whole pecans that you saved earlier and there you have it…

It’s always nerve-wracking cutting into a cake, especially in front of a gang of hungry ladies…you’re never sure exactly what the inside will look like! Luckily I needn’t have worried, just look at this beauty…

It went down a storm…and proved to be the perfect hangover cure 🙂


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Banana and pecan fudge loaf…

What do you get if you cross a deliciously moist banana bread recipe with a bag of chewy toffees?…a gooey, moist banana and pecan fudge loaf…that’s what!…

I was drawn to this delicious sounding recipe whilst flicking through my ‘Good Food 101 Teatime treats’ book, a veritable goldmine of baking porn.

To make it you’ll need…

150g chewy toffees (recipe called for Werther’s Original chewy toffees but I just used Sainsburys own brand)

2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 200g peeled weight)

2 eggs, beaten

100g butter, melted

100g toffee yoghurt

100g light muscovado sugar

200g self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

100g pecan halves, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a 2lb loaf tin or if you’re lucky like me and have a little silicone number then just get it out of the cupboard in readiness.

Chop the toffees into small chunks. The recipe suggested using wetted scissors but as these are another thing that I need to add to my kitchen essentials shopping list, I just used a sharp knife to chop my toffee, with only a few floor casualties.

Mix the bananas, eggs, butter, toffee yoghurt and sugar together well.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold in. Add ¾ of the pecan nuts and ½ the chopped toffees and stir before piling the mixture into the tin. Finally sprinkle over the remaining nuts and toffee…so wrong it’s right…

Pop in the oven for 50-55 minutes. I highly recommend standing your loaf tin on a baking tray as this cake has a tendency to erupt everywhere et voila…

Although my loaf had risen perfectly and was springy I found it quite difficult to decide whether it was totally ready due to the vast amount of volcanic toffee pockets throughout! I stuck to 55 minutes and it was cooked but extremely moist inside and would maybe have benefited from a couple more minutes.

Once out of the oven you have to withstand the torture of letting it cool in the tin before you’re allowed to have a taste. It made my whole house smell divine and drew a steady stream of housemates to the kitchen in search of tasty treats…

Owing to the moistness of the loaf it wasn’t the easiest of cakes to cut neatly but to be honest I don’t think anyone minded as it was demolished pretty promptly. I think it was always going to be a winner…I’m already a big fan of banana bread but have never in my life added toffees to a cake…but there’s a first time for everything and now I fear there is no going back!

I think photo’s, however rudimentary, say it all…

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