Coffee + Pecan Cake


 Prep Time : 20 + 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 55 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Fiddly

Coffee + Pecan Cake

I hope everyone is having a fun Halloween weekend filled with cookies and candy and the good kind of scares! I’m afraid this year most Kiwis’ attention has been elsewhere – preparing to get up at 5 am to watch the final of the Rugby World Cup where we took on (and soundly beat) our sporting nemesis. There is a long looong history of sporting rivalry in any and all codes where NZ and Australia compete. And when I say history I mean national religion. I’m pretty sure we also have a 6 way tie in our office picks competition for the tournament now… It’s not just about the $40 prize, it’s about glory…

It must be time to celebrate, and what better way than with cake? A cake that packs a coffee punch is just the thing if you’ve been up since the wee hours. This cake is a bit fiddly to make, but the crumb is so moist and soft that it’s worth the effort.

Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Line the base of an 8 inch round or ring tin with baking paper. Brush the sides with a little melted butter and dust with flour. The tin will need to be quite deep as the cake may rise a lot and then fall back – 3 inches should get you there.

Lightly toast the pecans in a dry frying pan until you start to smell delicious nuttiness and the skins just start to colour. It will only take a couple of minutes.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-1

Tip the toasted nuts onto a large cutting board and chop fairly fine. Pecans are quite soft so they are easy to chop by hand and you can control how chunky they are. We want to keep some good texture from different sized pieces. If you use a food processor be very careful that you don’t end up with pecan flour – go slowly.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-3

Cream the butter and half the sugar using a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat until incorporated. Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and add to the creamed mixture. Beat well.

In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites until firm peaks form. Add the remaining sugar a bit at a time over about a minute. Once all the sugar is in whip for another minute to make sure all the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is firm.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-2

By hand, gently fold the flour and chopped pecans into the creamed mixture. It will be quite thick.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-4

Add about a quarter of the whipped egg whites and fold in. This bit of egg white will lose a lot of it’s volume but you will see that it softens the rest of the mixture a lot. This will make it much easier to fold in the rest.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-5

Very gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Be as careful as you can because the finished cake will be about the size it is when the batter goes in the oven.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-6

Scrape into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-7

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until it springs back when pressed gently. It will have risen a lot and it will fall back. Don’t panic! Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. It’s not the prettiest cake right now. Don’t worry that’s what icing is for.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-8

To make the icing beat all the ingredients except the pecans together until fluffy. It doesn’t look like a lot of icing but it will just cover the cake. The flavour of the icing is strong and the cake is very moist so a thin layer of icing is all you need. Decorate with extra pecans.

Coffee + Pecan Cake-14

This cake is perfect with a cup of tea or (more) coffee – put the kettle on!

Coffee + Pecan Cake


Prep Time : 20 + 20 mins | Cook Time : 55 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Fiddly | Makes : 1 x 8 inch cake

Moist, tender nutty cake covered in buttery coffee frosting.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 cup (110 grams) pecans
  • 1 cup (225 grams) caster sugar, divided in half
  • 7 tablespoons (100 grams) softened butter
  • if using unsalted butter, add 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried instant coffee (I used Moccona)
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) all purpose flour

For the icing:

  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freeze dried instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (240 grams) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • extra chopped pecans to decorate

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Stand mixer with paddle and whisk attachments
  • 8 inch round or ring cake pan (approx. 3 inches deep)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Line the base of an 8 inch round or ring tin with baking paper. Brush the sides with a little melted butter and dust with flour. The tin will need to be quite deep as the cake may rise a lot and then fall back – 3 inches should get you there.

Lightly toast the pecans in a dry frying pan until you start to smell delicious nuttiness and the skins just start to colour. It will only take a couple of minutes. Tip the toasted nuts onto a large cutting board and chop fairly fine. Pecans are quite soft so they are easy to chop by hand and you can control how chunky they are. We want to keep some good texture from different sized pieces. If you use a food processor be very careful that you don’t end up with pecan flour – go slowly.

Cream the butter and half the sugar using a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat until incorporated. Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and add to the creamed mixture. Beat well.

In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites until firm peaks form. Add the remaining sugar a bit at a time over about a minute. Once all the sugar is in whip for another minute to make sure all the sugar is dissolved.

By hand, gently fold the flour and chopped pecans into the creamed mixture. Add about a quarter of the whipped egg whites and fold in. This bit of egg white will lose a lot of it’s volume but you will see that it softens the rest of the mixture a lot. This will make it much easier to fold in the rest. Very gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Be as careful as you can because the finished cake will be about the size it is when the batter goes in the oven. Scrape into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until it springs back when pressed gently. It will have risen a lot and it will fall back. Don’t panic! Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing beat all the ingredients except the pecans together until fluffy. It doesn’t look like a lot of icing but it will just cover the cake. Decorate with extra pecans.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Replace the pecans with walnuts if you prefer.

 – This cake will stay moist and delicious for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container – 

Adapted from Taste Magazine.

© 2015 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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