pecan pie cake(s)

It's not autumn here in Sydney by any means, in fact the weather has been more summer than spring. However most people I follow on instagram live in the Northern hemisphere and their feeds are filled with photos of the changing seasons.

With that thought in mind I made something very autumnal during the Long Weekend, which I thought would be perfect for Thanksgiving. It's a cross between a pecan pie and a cake and I found the original recipe in the August 10-16 2016 issue of the Brisbane News. 

The original recipe suggested making mini loaf cakes or muffins but I decided to bake the cake in a pie tin. I covered the holes with baking paper to prevent any leakage. I had a little leftover cake mixture so I made a little cake as well, just for the cook. 

The recipe is designed to be served with caramel sauce so I used my go-to recipe from Belinda Jeffery with the addition of a touch of sea salt.

cake itself is nice and moist but barely sweet so if you're planning to serve it without the caramel sauce I would add a little more brown sugar to the cake, maybe an extra ¼ - ⅓ cup.

Here's the recipe for you adapted just a little from a recipe by Caroline Jones of Skipping Girls Cafe in Brisbane. I found the recipe in the Brisbane News August 10-16 2016 issue.  For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Pecan ‘Pie’ Cakes (makes 8 cakes or one 9 inch pie)
150g unsalted butter, softened
180g (1 cup) brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g (⅔ cup) self raising flour 
150g pecans, processed to a rough meal

Crumble Topping
80g pecans, roughly chopped
60g plain flour
50g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, softened

Belinda Jeffery's Caramel Sauce
½ cup cream
110g firmly packed soft brown sugar
35g caster sugar
30ml maple syrup
30ml golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

To make the caramel sauce, put all the ingredients except the sea salt into a smallish, heavy-based saucepan. Sit the pan over high heat and stir the mixture just until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring and bring it to the boil. Let it bubble rapidly until a sugar thermometer registers 108°C. Take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes then add a pinch of sea salt to balance out the sweetness. You can use the sauce warm, or store it in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks. It tends to separate a little when it’s cold, but just give it a good stir and it comes back together. Makes about a cup.

Preheat oven to 170°C, conventional. Grease, flour and line 8 mini loaf tins or muffin tins or the base of a 9 inch pie plate. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until pale and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl intermittently. Beat in the eggs one at a time and the vanilla extract. Remove the bowl from the stand and use a wooden spoon to fold through the flour and pecan meal until evenly combined and then spoon into the prepared tin(s).

To make the topping, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and rub between your fingertips to combine. Sprinkle the crumbly topping over the mini cakes or pie and bake for 15-20 minutes for the small cakes or 40 minutes for the pie or until a skewer when inserted, comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin(s) for several minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool slightly before serving topped with cream and caramel sauce.

Next time I wouldn't decorate the cake with extra pecans as they got a little too sunburnt in my brother's oven.

In a complete coincidence I discovered today is Thanksgiving in Canada so happy thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends.

Until next time,


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