What an deceivingly surprising product! It smells a bit funny in the bottle (lets be honest here) but in a cake…. Wow.
Before I digress any further; this week we had another dinner party and I was told to bake a cake for a late birthday treat for one of the guests. After going through the Cake Days book; I decided on the Maple and Pecan Layer Cake, as I’ve never bought or tasted maple syrup before.
Now I thought it would look/taste a bit like honey and I was half right, it looked a bit like honey. Didn’t smell of it though; in fact the smell put me off tasting it. All the excitement of making this new cake faded a bit and I got on with the baking.
Now that I’ve baked quite a few cakes with nuts in I’ve found a great way to deal with all the chopping: ask my dad to do it and make him tea after. Works every time. Yes, readers, I am a terrible daughter BUT I did make him tea!
All the dry ingredients were mixed with the wet ones and whisked together to make the batter. I then mixed in the beautifully chopped pecans by hand (please note the appreciation of my dad’s chopping!). The batter was then poured into three tins and squeezed into the oven for around 30 minutes.
They came out beautifully brown and very raised. Normally this isn’t a bad thing, but as I was making a layered cake I decided to cut the tops of two cakes to make them straight. The cut off bits of cake were completely demolished by hungry parents and the rest left to cool for decorating.
I was told I had to make the cake pretty (as if I don’t do that anyway) so I whipped up the frosting with extreme care, which also had maple syrup in it. I then started to layer the cake and applied the first coat: the crumb coat.
Once this dried a tiny bit (first guests were arriving by then and I was still in a fetching apron) I started on the rest of the decoration. I ended up swirling the top in a circular fashion with my trusty palette knife and used a very funny looking (but amazing) tool that creates a pattern on the side of the cake, pictures of which will be on the facebook page soon.
The cake got lots of oohs and aahs when it came out and tasted delicious. I took a small piece because I was still worried about the maple syrup smell but you couldn’t smell it at all and it actually made the cake sweet in a different sort of way. Can’t exactly put my finger on it but it was definitely a positive thing, a nice change from the standard sugary taste. The cake had a nice mix of sweetness and nuttiness and would be a good go between when you have guests with different tastes.