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Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream & Sugared Pecans

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

A beautiful dessert to celebrate the last days of autumn!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • ⅜ cups Canola Oil
  • 3 whole Eggs
  • 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • ⅜ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ⅜ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ⅜ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-¼ cup Pumpkin Puree
  • FOR THE MAPLE CREAM:
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • ⅓ cups Maple Syrup
  • 6 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, At Room Temperature
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted After Measuring
  • FOR THE PECANS:
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 whole Egg White
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Pecan Halves

Preparation

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 6-inch cake pans with non-stick coating.

Combine sugar, oil, and eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer or other large bowl and beat well.

Sift dry ingredients (flour through salt) into a separate bowl. Mix dry ingredients slowly into the wet mixture, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add pumpkin and mix well.

Pour batter into cake pans in even amounts, about 1 1/2 cups of mixture per pan (2 1/4 cups if using two 8-inch pans). Wrap a damp, thin strip of tea towel around the outside of each cake pan and tie tightly (see the related blog for photos). Bake cakes for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove pans from oven.

Allow cakes to rest in their pans for 3-5 minutes, then carefully flip them onto cooling racks. Allow cakes to cool completely, then store in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the cake.

For the maple cream:
Place butter in a small pot over medium heat. Once butter has melted, stir in maple syrup. Allow mixture to boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat and pour maple butter into a small dish. Allow to cool to room temperature, placing it in the fridge if you want to speed the process up.

Beat the room temperature cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add sifted powdered sugar to the bowl and beat until well-combined, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour in the maple butter and beat for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Set aside.

For the sugared pecans:
Preheat oven to 300ºF and line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly grease aluminum foil with cooking spray or canola oil.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and mix well. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together egg white, water, and vanilla extract until it become foamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add pecans to the egg white mixture and toss until all pecans are coated.

Using a slotted spoon, lift coated pecans out of the egg mixture and into the sugar mixture. Use a fork to gently stir the pecans into the sugar mixture until all pecans are coated. Be careful not to over mix or the sugar will begin to flake off of the pecans.

Spread pecans evenly over the lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Mix and turn pecans with a fork and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Then remove the pan from the oven and allow pecans to cool completely.

Set aside half of the pecans, keeping them whole. Place the remaining pecans on a cutting board and roughly chop into pieces no larger than 1/2″ across.

For the assembly:
Add the chopped pecans to the well-beaten maple cream. Stir well until pecans are evenly distributed throughout maple cream.

If cake layers are not level, slice them across the top with a bread knife until the top of each layer is level. Place one layer of cake on a plate or cake stand, top-side down. Spread a generous layer of icing (about 1/3 of the icing) over the top surface of the cake, leaving about 1/4″ of space between the icing and the edge of the cake.

Carefully place the next layer of cake onto the iced bottom layer and repeat the icing with the second third of the icing.

Place the final layer of cake on top of the middle layer and spread remaining icing onto the entire top surface of the cake.

Use the un-chopped pecans to adorn the cake however you see fit. I mounded about half of them on the center of the cake and used the remainder as a border for the bottom layer.

Refrigerate until 30 minutes before ready to serve.

Adapted from About.com, Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes, and Simply Recipes.

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