Sunday, 7 October 2012
Happy Birthday Dad - Hummingbird Bakery Maple and Pecan Layer Cake
You're never too old for a birthday cake. My dad is 65 today and such a milestone (both my parents are finally twirlies - OMG how did that happen?) deserves something a bit out of the ordinary so I decided instead of using the old faithful Hershey's Chocolate Cake, the birthday cake of choice around here, that it might be nice to do something a little different. This called for the Hummingbird Bakery's Maple and Pecan Layer Cake, with its decadent pearly white icing and skyscraper layers (this cake is pretty big once you get it iced up!).
I was a little worried initially that the cake was dry on cutting but it wasn't. It was moist with the background distinctive sweetness of maple syrup. And pecans are just lovely!
Anyway, with all that sweetness there will be lots of energy for the walk to the post office in the morning to pick up the pension. Happy days! Happy Birthday Dad!
Maple and Pecan Layer Cake taken from the Hummingbird Bakery's 'Cake Days'
Serves 10 - 12
For the sponge:
120g unsalted butter, softened
400g white sugar
360g all purpose flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
360ml whole milk
40ml maple syrup
3 large eggs
100g pecans, chopped
For the frosting:
240g unsalted butter
750g icing sugar
60ml whole milk
1tbsp maple syrup
Pecan halves to decorate
Preheat the oven to 170° Gas 3 and prepare three 8 inch diameter sandwich tins with baking parchment.
Mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt with an electric mixer at low speed until the mixture reaches a crumb-like consistency.
In a bowl mix together the milk, maple syrup and eggs by hand.
Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until well combined. Stir in the chopped pecans by hand.
Divide the cake batter equally between the 3 baking pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes become light brown. Leave them in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting, whisk with an electric mixer the butter and icing sugar until fluffy and sandy in texture, then add milk and maple syrup, mix well and then beat at high speed until it becomes soft and fluffy.
Obligatory cup of tea when icing a cake. Also, cup of hot water with a pallet knife. The hot knife helps to smooth the icing. Also, there are strips of greaseproof paper under the cake which are there to stop the icing going on the plate. Remove the strips when the cake has been iced to give you a (reasonably) tidy finish
When the sponges are completely cold, place the first layer on a plate, top with 3-4 tablespoons of the frosting, and smooth it down using a palette knife and adding a little more if needed.
Put the second layer on top and cover with frosting in the same layer.
My cake decorating still appears to come from the school of hard knocks, but you see what I am getting at!
Then put the third layer, frost the sides and top of the cake and decorate with pecan halves.