Admittedly not a recipe that screams “springtime”, the idea for this bundt cake has been forming in my head over the past week of long, empty days calling to be filled with sweetness and comfort.
My aim was to bring the pecan into the spotlight in a way you don’t really get aside from in a pecan pie, or danish pastry perhaps. Processing the pecan nuts into a crumbly flour to use in the cake was new to me – but I thought if you can do so with almonds, why not pecans too? I have kept the ratio of pecan to regular white flour fairly low, otherwise the result would be an impossibly dense cake. Whilst this one is heavy with moisture from the nuts, the crumb remains light, making it perfect to cut into big wedges to have with tea. It’s certainly helped see me through the lazy afternoons we are all having at the moment.
Ingredients – for the cake:
210g unsalted butter, 200g granulated sugar, 150g light soft brown sugar, 4 eggs, 200g plain flour, 100g pecans, 1.5 teaspoon baking powder, 0.25 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt, 1.5 teaspoon instant coffee powder + 1 tablespoon hot water
- Generously grease a bundt tin, and pre-heat the oven to 180ºc.
- Place the pecans on a tray and place in the oven for around 7 minutes to toast them – watch they don’t burn. Let cool slightly.
- Place 60g of the pecans in a food processor or blender and blitz until they are a fine powder. I find it helpful to add a spoon of the plain flour in with the pecans to stop them sticking together too much in the blender. Mix the pecan meal in with the plain flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer with the beater attachment fixed, beat the butter and sugars together on a medium-high speed until pale and voluminous. Bring the speed down and add the eggs one by one, followed by the yoghurt and coffee.
- Add in the pecan flour mix and beat for a further few minutes until the mix is smooth. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 45 minutes, or until the cake comes away from the edges of the tin and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Let it rest in the tin for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.
For the glaze:
3 tablespoons salted butter, 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 3 tablespoons icing sugar.
- Put the butter in a small pan and melt on a low heat.
- Turn up the heat and let the butter bubble, swirling the pan periodically. Keep heating the butter until it foams, and eventually the butter starts to turn a dark amber colour.
- Turn the heat right down and add in the brown sugar, stirring well. Heat for a further 2 minutes to let the sugar dissolve before adding the milk. Beware of the mix spitting a little at this point – keep stirring quickly until it is all incorporated and the mix is smooth. Remove from the heat.
- Sift in the icing sugar and beat well until no grains remain and you have a glossy, thick liquid which coats the back of a spoon. Spoon over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Crush the remainder of the toasted pecans and scatter over the glaze.