Today’s recipe comes to you from Edinburgh.
I’m up here visiting my friend Lucy and I think I might just stay if thats ok? She lives at the top of one of the beautifully proportioned stone houses, all high ceilings, wonky wooden floors and enormous windows steaming light across the rooms.
I’m sat in bed, cosy under blankets looking out of the shuttered window down onto the cobbled street below. The skies are blue with a few wispy clouds floating across and soon it will be time to head down to the little cafe across the street for eggs and coffee.
Yesterday I wandered around the city, taking myself for a beautiful lunch, eating ice cream outside of the castle, wandering down side streets and climbing twisting stair cases. Happily bobbing into little shops, dusty old book shops piled high with history books and faded maps, cheese mongers with enormous wheels of cheese, little boutiques perfect for wandering and browsing.
Yes, I think I might just stay here.
This cake took a couple of tries to get right. Not the recipe itself, that was delicious from the first time, just getting it out of the tin. The first time just wouldn’t come out! I spent a ridiculously long time teasing the edges with a silicon spatula, tapping it, easing it. The cake started to ease out and I thought i’d got it, but no, half the cake flopped out onto the wire rack leaving the other half well and truly stuck to the curves and ridges of the bundt tin. I’d almost given up on the world of bundt cakes, decided they weren’t for me.
Then I discovered cake release spray.
Oh this stuff is magic.
The cake slid straight out of the tin beautifully, all the tins detail preserved, not a crumb left behind. If you haven’t used this stuff yet do, its life changing! Well, life changing to the portion of your life that deals with bundt tins at least!
I was so glad that I managed to get the cake out of the tin because really this cake is rather delicious.
A dense, sponge wraps around a centre of pecans and maple syrup, like a pecan danish in cake form. The centre is just the right level of sweet stickiness. It looks so pretty cut into, the white sponge and the centre of sticky, bumpy pecans.
It slices into satisfying wedges, a homey, tea time treat of a cake.
I’ve topped the cake with a cream cheese and maple syrup glaze, which adds an extra maple sweetness to the cake. If you prefer you could just dust with a little icing sugar.
Maple Pecan Bundt Cake
(adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen)
for the pecan filling
75g plain flour
30g soft, unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
150g pecans, roughly chopped (if you can’t find pecans you can substitute walnuts)
125ml maple syrup
for the cake
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g soft, unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
250ml sour cream
for the maple cream cheese glaze
85g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
15ml maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 23cm bundt tin. I would strongly suggest using a cake release, especially if you haven’t baked with a bundt tin before.
Begin by making the maple and pecan filling. Mix together the flour and butter using a fork. You are looking for a breadcrumy, crumbly type texture. Add in the cinnamon, pecans and maple syrup and mix together until you have a rough, bumpy mixture. Set to one side.
Next make the cake.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
Add one tablespoon of the flour mixture and one egg. Beat into the mixture. Add another tablespoon of the flour mixture and the second egg. Beat in. Now add the rest of the flour and mix until combined.
Stir through the sour cream. You will have a reasonably thick batter.
Spoon about half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Push some of the mixture up the sides of the tin and up around the centre funnel. This will create the walls of the cake to keep the pecan filling contained. Spoon the filling into the well you have created, then add the rest of the cake mixture on top. Smooth down.
Bake for about 40 minutes, tested with a cake skewer after about 30 minutes. Remember that the filling will continue to be sticky.
Allow to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Once cool, make your glaze.
Beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar. Add the maple syrup and mix until you have a smooth, runny icing.
Drizzle over the top of your cake and leave to set.
The cake can be frozen for up to three months without the glaze.