Maple and Caramelised Pecan Cake
I have been a huge fan of maple syrup ever since I went to Canada to see how it was produced.
It has a unique flavour, which seems to have a real affinity with pecan nuts. And using the syrup to caramelise them gives a lovely crunchy texture.
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes.
Begin by sifting the flour and baking powder into a roomy mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down, then add the butter, eggs, caster sugar and maple syrup.
Now, using an electric hand whisk, mix to a smooth, creamy consistency for about one minute.
After that fold the chopped nuts into the mixture with a tablespoon.
Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, level off using the back of a tablespoon and bake near the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes.
The cakes are cooked when you press lightly with your little finger and the centre springs back.
Remove them from the oven (increasing the heat to 200°C, gas mark 6) and after about 30 seconds loosen the edges by sliding a palette knife all round then turn them out onto a wire cooling tray.
Now carefully peel back the lining by gently pulling it back.
Lightly place the other cooling tray on top and just flip them both over so that the tops are facing upwards (this is to prevent them sticking to the cooling tray).
Next caramelise the nuts by tossing them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, then spread them out onto a small baking tray with a liner and pop them in the oven to caramelise, which will take 10 minutes – put a timer on here because if you forget them they burn very quickly!
Meanwhile combine the rest of the maple syrup with the mascarpone and then, when the nuts have cooled, spread half of this over one of the cakes, using a palette knife, and sprinkle half the cooled nuts over.
Place the other cake on top and spread the rest of the mascarpone mixture over, and finally sprinkle with the rest of the nuts.
Store in a polythene box in the fridge until needed.
Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3
Equipment: Two 18cm by 4cm sponge tins, lightly buttered and bases lined plus two wire cooling trays. Click here for more information