Pecan

Maple Memory Cake

March 29, 2012
Author Notes

Even though I do not have a big sweet tooth, as a child I loved maple sugar candies. Growing up in Hawaii, they were unusual (shaped like a leaf!), almost exotic (shaped like a leaf!) golden treats that we only had at my Grandparent’s house. I suspect they ordered them because of my grandfather’s famous sweet tooth, and his own upbringing on the east coast. Here is my cake version of that taste memory. —gingerroot

Test Kitchen Notes

Gingerroot's cake is loaded with maple flavor. This will easily become one of my favorite cakes, using both grades of syrup amplifies the maple goodness, the pecans are a delicious addition and give it a slightly rustic quality, the butter and mascarpone make this cake very moist and rich and the addition of whipped egg whites lightens the cake. All you need is a dusting of powdered sugar, this cake stands well on it's own. It made a delicious dessert and was perfect for breakfast the next day with a cup of coffee. I will most definitely add this cake to my baking repertoire. I just want to add that it's a terrific base recipe and lends itself to adding your own creative touches, next time I will add some spices and maybe try toasted walnuts. —sdebrango

  • Makes 1 9-inch cake
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, Grade B, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, Grade A, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • Confectioner’s sugar for the top
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a parchment round and butter the top of the paper.
  2. Toast pecans on a small baking pan in oven until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and allow nuts to cool.
  3. Grind pecans in a mini-prep processor until uniformly chopped into small pieces (it's okay if they start to bind together a little).
  4. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in pecans, pinching apart any chunks that may have formed in the mini prep, and set bowl aside.
  5. Combine mascarpone and vanilla in another small bowl.
  6. Using a hand mixer, cream butter in a large metal bowl for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides with a spatula as necessary. Add maple, and continue to mix and scrape for another 3 minutes. At this point, your batter may look separated, almost curdled, but not to worry it will come together once you add the flour. Add whole eggs, one at a time, mixing between additions. Continue to mix and scrape for another minute.
  7. Add half of the flour, then mix and scrape on low. Repeat with half of the mascarpone. Continue with remaining flour and then mascarpone, in two more additions, being careful only to mix until blended. Do not over mix.
  8. With clean beaters and a clean metal bowl, whip egg white until you have soft peaks. Fold into batter in two additions. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing evenly with an offset spatula and lightly tapping pan on a flat surface. Bake until fragrant, sides begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 24-25 minutes.
  9. Set cake pan on a rack to cool. Run a knife around edge of cake if necessary. Once cool, invert cake twice to have the “top” right side up (as it was in the pan) on your serving plate. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top of cake and serve. Enjoy!
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Review
gingerroot

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.