A Tuesday to myself. The first one in ages due to inductions, teaching, school holidays, teachers strikes etc etc.
What to do?
It could be the huge pile of ironing, or the garden that needs “putting to bed for the winter” or the painting that needs doing in the bathroom.
Or it could be a maple and pecan autumn cake that needs baking
Ah yes, that would be it.
I’m not sure why maple is so resonant of autumn. I’m fairly sure that the sugaring process that produces maple syrup takes place when the sap is rising in Feb/March so by rights it should bring to mind spring. But there’s something so darned autumnal about the rich, golden ochre tones of the syrup it seems to go with the season so well.
So. Back to my beloved Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days
And a recipe for Maple and Pecan cake I’ve had my eye on for a while.
I decided to stick with a double layer cake rather than the triple layer specified in the book, as I find triple layers unwieldy for everyday cakes – last time I attempted three layers the top one frizbeed off and hurtled across the kitchen in an horrific, yet strangely impressive way.
So two layers it was. I also added a little cinnamon to the mixture to up the autumn/winter spice content and, as usual with Hummingbird Bakery recipes, halved the quantities for the icing – I like to taste the cake and not have the flavours overwhelmed by too much sweetness.
The result was delicious
The sponge is light and moist, the pecans adding depth and texture. The maple syrup gives a hint of smokiness and caramel that complements the sweetness of the sponge base.
Even the kids liked it