From the Chef’s Corner
My wife is not a chocolate fan. When she bakes cakes, they are always anything but chocolate. I’ll have to admit that this one she baked during the holidays was by far better than all my chocolate cake bakings. If you like praise, try this recipe.
2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 recipe Pecan Pie Cake Batter
¾ cup dark corn syrup
1 recipe Pecan pie filling
1. Sprinkle pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9 inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans. Spoon Pecan Pie Cake Batter evenly into prepared pans.
2. Bake at 350 F. for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert layers onto wax paper-lined wire racks. Brush tops and sides of layers evenly with corn syrup, and cool completely.
3. Place 1 cake layer, pecan side up, on a serving plate. Spread top with half of the Pecan Pie Filling. Place second layer, pecan side up on top; spread top of cake layer with remaining filling. Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.
Pecan Pie Cake Batter
1 stick butter, softened
½ cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 lg. eggs, separated
1 TBsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well until blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition; stir in vanilla.
2. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans.
3. Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Gently fold remaining beaten egg whites just until blended. Use immediately.
Pecan Pie Filling
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 ½ cups half and half
¼ tsp. salt
3 TBsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract
Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3 qt. saucepan until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill for 4 hours.