I am always trying new things and then, if I like them, pass it along to you.I absolutely love the taste of ginger (from my mom, I guess) and pecans. Together they are a real hit.
This recipe makes 3 x 8 inch round cakes. You can use all three at once, or freeze one and only use two. Your choice. When using all three layers, use thin wooden skewers to prevent the cakes from slipping away. Just remember to take them out when serving.
Read through first, then gather what you need together. Say, first, damn I can do this….
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
- generous pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 1/2 cups roasted, finely ground pecans, plus 9 whole ones, also toasted
- 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), room temperature
- 3 cups brown sugar, sifted
- 6 whole large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp. whole milk
- 3/4 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint creme fraiche
- 2 tsp. white rum
- 3 tbsp. sifted icing sugar
- Glossy Caramel Icing (recipe follows)
- crystallized ginger, cut into thin strips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 cake pans and place parchment paper circles on the bottom of each pan. Dust with flour, shaking off excess.
Sift together flours, baking powder, salt and ground ginger in a medium sized bowl. Add the ground pecans and whisk together until blended. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until really fluffy. Gradually add the sifted brown sugar beating for about 5 minutes un til fluffy. Slowly drizzle the eggs, beating each time until completely blended. This will take about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl down twice during this 5 minutes.
On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the egg mixture, finishing with flour. Scrape the bowl down a few times. add the grated ginger and vanilla.
Now divide the batter equally in the three pans and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pans for even browning. (Use two racks in the oven or use your convection oven temperature) Now bake for another 8-10 minutes further. Test for doneness and remove to racks to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from the cake pans and continue cooling on the racks.
While the cakes are cooling, whip the creme fraiche until soft peaks form. Add the rum and icing sugar and beat until the soft peaks return. Add more icing sugar to taste if you think it is needed.
To assemble, remove the parchment paper from bottom of each layer. Get out your prettiest cake plate and put one layer (top down) and cover with 1/2 of the creme fraiche mixture. Place the second layer on top and cover with the remaining creme fraiche. Place the ‘best’ layer on top.
Now would be a good time to add three wooden skewers and place in the fridge so you can take the next (and final) steps to presenting the most delicious and beautiful cake.
Shiny Caramel Icing
When making this icing, be very careful not to get the sugar too hot. It will become far too brittle if you do and that is not what you want.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
Put the sugar in a skillet and let cook until it melts and turns golden in colour. This should take, maybe, 3 minutes. As this melts, stir using the back of a wooden spoon. Use a candy thermometer until the temperature reaches 310 degrees. (about 4 minutes)
S-L-O-W-LY add the cream (it will splatter) stirring with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat and the now hardened caramel will melt and become softer. Use a whisk slowly to reduce the bubbles and it becomes smooth.
Let cool off the stove for about 3-4 minutes and pour over the chilled cake. Sprinkle with a few of the candies ginger strips. OMG…done!
Remember to say….damn I DID it. You and your guests will love this one. Oh…..where did I put my glass?