pecan spice cake • my number one

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I want cake. I always want cake. I don’t think there has ever been an instance where I have declined a good piece of cake. If somebody asks me: “Hey, would you like some cake?”, how can I possibly reply, “No, you know what…I rather not have any of that deliciousness that you have placed right in front of my salivating mouth.” The problem is that I like a wide spectrum of flavors and I only seem to reject the offer if certain components of the cake (ie: filling, frosting, etc.) or the cake itself don’t appear appetizing.

Chocolate German cake seems to rank # 1 on my list of favorite cakes at the moment, but I don’t know…..this pecan spice cake may have to take its place. Yes. Definitely, yes! So let me refresh the list of favorite cakes: #1 pecan spice cake #2 chocolate german cake and I’m still working on the rest.

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I’m specially fond of the pecan spice cake I elaborated because the flavor of the cake is full of spices that speak of fall. And wait…there’s more. I managed to have 1 poached pear half left over from 5 days ago when I made the poached pear recipe. Pears are also on their prime, so I sliced it up and threw it in there..I thought it would go well, since the pears were poached in spices. Spices with spices…those two go well together, right?

The Ratio that I used for this cake is: 2 (flour):2 (liquid):1 (butter):1(egg), which is such a versatile ratio that I’ve used to make other recipes such as: blue-berry lemon stuffed cupcakes and chocolate vanilla ice cream sandwich.

Research Question: Will Mark think this is the best cake he has ever tasted in his life? It’ll be his birthday cake so I hope it ranks pretty high up there on his list of favorite cakes.

Hypothesis:

– This cake will be super soft and tender because cake flour was used for the entire proportion of the flour quantity. Cake flour has less protein which will result in less gluten development. Less gluten development will produce a more delicate product.

– The cake will taste like spices that speak of fall. The poached pears along with the brown sugar and pecans will reinforce that warm and cozy feeling.

– The cream cheese-cinnamon frosting will also compliment the spice theme in this cake.

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Materials/Ingredients:

scale

2 – 9″ x 2″ cake pans, buttered and dusted with flour

8 oz butter and a little extra to grease pans, softened

6 oz granulated sugar & 6 oz brown sugar (& an additional 3 oz to sprinkle on the bottom of cake pans).

16 oz cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 T cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

16 oz milk (about 2 C milk)

8 oz eggs (about 4 eggs)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C pecans, roughly chopped

(about 1 poached pear half, sliced)—> parentheses signify that this ingredient is optional 🙂

Ingredients for cinnamon-cream cheese frosting:

16 oz cream cheese

8 oz mascarpone cheese

2 1/2 T cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

24 oz of 10x sugar (powder sugar)

Procedure/Recipe:

  1. Butter two 9” x 2” cake pans, base and sides.
  2. Place a circular-shaped piece of parchment paper on the bottom of each cake pan. Butter the surface of each parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle ¼ C (2 oz ) light brown sugar over the buttered parchment paper on each cake pan.
  4. Thinly slice the the poached pear and place the slices on the base of the cake pans. (This step is optional because using pears is not a must..but it sure tastes yummy).
  5. Arrange the chopped pecans over the sprinkled brown sugar and around the spaces around the pears.
  6. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and incorporate eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition.
  7. Reduce speed to low. Beat in flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with milk and scraping bowl as needed.
  8. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 55-60 minutes, until tops are dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.
  9. Let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen. Unmold cakes, and let cool, right side up, on rack.
  10. Meanwhile, mix cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, just to break it up.
  11. Add vanilla and cinnamon to mixture and continue whipping to incorporate well.
  12. Add powdered sugar and continue mixing until mixture is smooth.
  13.  Assemble Cake:

– Choose a serrated knife with a thin blade at least 8 inches long. With the blade parallel to the work surface, saw into the side of 1 cake layer, halfway down. Saw an inch in while rotating the layer with the other hand. Stop every few inches to check that you’re maintaining a level cut. Score all the way around the cake. Put the blade in the score, keeping the knife level. Saw toward the center until the cake layer is sheared in two. If a layer isn’t flat, shave the cut side to level it. Halve remaining layers.

– Choose a cake platter that’s 9 inches or bigger. Use the flat, removable bottom of a tart pan to transfer a cake layer, cut side up, from your work surface to the platter. Apply dollops of cream cheese cinnamon frosting all over the first layer, and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Repeat layering with remaining cake layers. When you’re done layering, hold the serrated knife blade parallel to the cake sides and shave off any uneven bits to form smooth sides.


– Spread crumb coat and frost the cake. For more information of how to do so, you can let Martha show you how, or actually the people that work for her will show you how.

– Place left over frosting into a piping bag with a #3-5 star tip. Decorate the cake with a simple design

– Assemble pecans over frosting and sift ground cinnamon over the surface of the cake.

Observations:

– Cake is super tender and the hint of spices give it a very warm flavor that was not overpowering, but rather pleasant.

– Cream cheese-cinnamon filling and frosting becomes very soft at room temperature so be sure to store cake in fridge before trying to frost and decorate the cake. Cake should maybe be kept in the fridge before serving for the same reason.

– The pecans caramelized in the brown sugar. They add a nice crunchy texture that contrasts very nicely with the soft cake.

Results/Conclusion: GET IN MY BELLY!!!! I simply love this cake!

And guess what? Mark did as well. He actually stated (without asking for his inclination or opinion on this matter), “This is the best cake I’ve ever had.” Success.

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One thought on “pecan spice cake • my number one

  1. My teacher gave a demo of the proper way to ice cakes today. Ever since then, the icing mistakes on this cake are very pronounced. It looks so messy! Thank God we’re learning the proper way to build and ice cakes this week. Dsspite the horrendous job I did icing this cake, the flavor is still amazing. Next time I’ll do better!

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