Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Maple and Pecan Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Icing

Flour and butter are two of the bakers best friends, but for those who simply cannot tolerate either here's a recipe that is both gluten and dairy free. I've used both ground almonds and ground pecans in the sponge mixture, along with a little maple syrup and vanilla to add further depth to the flavour. On top I've adorned the cake with a rich and indulgent peanut butter icing. The two combine to make a terrifically toothsome afternoon tea treat, so why not indulge yourself and give it a try.

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 45-50 Mins
100g Pecans
200g Ground Almonds
75g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
1tsp Baking Powder
125g Maple Syrup
5 Large Eggs (Beaten)
1tsp Vanilla Extract

For the icing
150g Smooth Unsweetened Peanut Butter
200g Icing Sugar (Sifted)
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
Around 5-6tbsp Water

Begin by preheating the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and greasing a 23cm springform tin, lining the base with baking paper. Grind the pecans finely, either using a pestle and mortar or mini food processor, then mix them in a bowl along with the ground almonds, sugar and baking powder. Pour in the maple syrup, eggs and vanilla, then mix it all together until you're left with a smooth, evenly combined batter. Pour into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake. When you're happy it's cooked take it out of the oven, leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then carefully remove and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool you can make the icing. Beat together the peanut butter and icing sugar, gradually adding the water as you go. You may use less or more than the 5-6tbsp but you ideally want the icing to be thick, but smooth and spreadable. Once it's got to that stage spread it all over the cooled cake and ta-dah, you're done!

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