So it came time to decide on which cake I'd like to have for my birthday. I don't know why but I think I find it easier deciding these things for other people, but when I have to decide for myself, I don't even know where to begin!
My initial thought was a carrot cake. It is, after all, my favourite cake! Made sense! Then something ran through the back of my mind... there was something else in there... something else that I loved just as much...
It involved pecan nuts.
And more pecan nuts.
I present to you Pecan Nut Fudge Cake! I'm sure you can guess what's inside but I'll tell a bit more. Three layers of a very light, soft and airy sponge containing all of 3 Tbsp of flour but plenty crushed pecan nuts.
Then in between those amazing sponge layers are two thick layers of more chopped pecan nuts with chocolate. Mmmmmm.
Then to finish it off, a fudge like glaze poured over the whole thing. I'm sometimes tempted to call this a pudding rather than a cake. It's moist with different textures throughout and so decadent.
This cake is originally a Walnut Fudge Cake but I've always favoured pecan nuts over walnuts. At a previous house we lived in, we had two pecan nut trees that would give us enough nuts to last a year, which was pretty useful as nuts tend to be quite pricey. In turn I used to substitute pecans for other nuts in a lot of recipes. This cake just begged to use them up and I was happy to oblige.
It's a great cake to serve to a lot of people, because it's quite rich, you can cut thinner than normal slices and serve with vanilla ice-cream, which I do recommend as it helps tame this sinful pleasure. For my birthday we had it with honeycomb ice-cream which was also a perfect partner.
Give this cake a try, it won't disappoint!
8 Eggs, separated & at room temp
1 1/2 cups Confectioner's Sugar/Icing Sugar
225g Unsalted Butter, softened (2 sticks)
230g Pecan Nuts, finely chopped
180g Dark Chocolate, melted
3 Tbsp Plain Flour
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C Fan Assisted)
- Line the bottom of three 9inch round cake tins with parchment paper and grease and flour the sides
- In a large bowl mix egg yolks, 1 cup confectioners sugar, softened butter, chopped pecans, melted chocolate, flour and vanilla
- Scrape bowl constantly and mix until well thoroughly combined
- Beat for another 4mins at medium speed
- In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form
- Slowly sprinkle in remaining 1/2 cup of the confectioners sugar and beat until sugar has completely dissolved and you have stiff, glossy peaks
- Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate/nut mixture until just blended
- Pour into prepared cake tins
- Bake for 35mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
- Prepare the filling while cake is baking
- Allow to cool in pans before removing and cooling on racks
- Prepare the glaze
- Decorate with pecan halves and serve
60g Dark Chocolate
1/3 cup Sugar
230g Pecan Nuts, chopped
1/2 cup Milk
60g Unsalted Butter (1/2 stick)
- In a double boiler or heat resistant bowl over a pot of hot water melt the chocolate
- Stir in the sugar, chopped pecan nuts and milk
- Cook over boiling water until the sugar has dissolved, about 5mins
- Remove from heat and beat in the butter & vanilla with a spoon
- Refrigerate until cool
- Once the cake layers have cooled, spread half the filling between each layer
- Prepare the glaze
170g Dark Chocolate
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Golden Syrup
3 Tbsp Milk
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or heat resistant bowl over a pot of hot water
- Remove from heat and stir the syrup & milk in until smooth
- Spread over the top and sides of cake while the glaze is still warm
Adapted from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
If you're in a warm climate, once you've spread the glaze over the cake, refrigerate to help the glaze set
As I mentioned, this is a rich cake, so can serve up to 16 slices
A nice touch is to candy the pecan halves used for decorating