Honey Pecan Cake

A wonderful light cake fragrant and sticky with honey and pecans

Possibly one of the best cakes I've ever made. Quite something.
Possibly one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. Quite something.

Possibly the best cake I have ever made and I think my dedication to cake is well established.

For a few weeks I’ve had a hankering for a honey-scented cake, similar to my quest for a decent honey ice-cream, even though ice-cream and my stomach don’t see eye-to-eye.

Honey pecan cake.
Honey pecan cake.

Food52’s Baking book delivered. Honey AND pecans, we were onto a winner.

There are steps, there are bowls, just work with it.

The caramel pecan base
The caramel pecan base

Food52 uses a 23cm round springform pan with baking paper that comes up above the join but this sounded like a doomed plan to me so I used a 20cm square tin, which I lined with one piece of baking paper with no joins in it whatsoever (so the caramel can’t escape)

Honey Pecan Cake
A stunning combination of honey and pecans in a delicate cake
For the topping
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup pecan halves
For the cake
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 110g butter
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C and line your prefered pan
For the topping
  1. Melt the butter with the honey then pour over the bottom of the pan
  2. Evenly spread the pecans over it
For the cake
  1. Blitz the pecans into a flour, add to the plain flour and set aside
  2. Whisk the eggwhites to stiff peaks and set aside
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale
  4. Then add the egg yolks, then the honey, vanilla and buttermilk
  5. Gently stir in the flours
  6. Gently fold through the egg whites and then spoon into the pan over the pecans
  7. Bake for 35-40mins
  8. Let it cool a little then flip onto a serving platter
  9. It'd be divine with ice-cream or cream. Or both.



Mocha Meringue Cake

A divine mocha mousse sandwiched between two meringue discs.

Ok, something fancy for a change.

It’s been so invigorating having my cooking mojo back but let’s face it, cooking dinners tends to focus on the functional in this house and I just had a hankering to make something requiring a bit of technical skill and that was a little bit fancy.

I was rearranging my cookbook bookshelf and the June July copy of Donna Hay fell out with this on the cover. I basically had to make it immediately. I swapped out the white chocolate for milk because it was all I had and the mousse probably didn’t set as well as it should have because I didn’t have enough whipped cream. I also used almond meal instead of hazelnut meal because it was what i had in the cupboard. But guess what, it was BLOODY DELICIOUS.

It’s not technically challenging, but there are steps and waiting/cooling times so go in with that knowledge.

Mocha meringue cake
Mocha meringue cake

Mocha Meringue Cake
Total show pony dessert
Serves: 8-10 slices
The meringue
  • 2 tsp strong instant coffee granules
  • ½ tsp boiling water
  • 1 tblsp cornflour
  • 1 cup almond meal (any nut meal will work a treat)
  • 4 eggwhites
  • 1½ cups icing sugar
The mousse
  • ½ cup pouring cream
  • ¼ cup strong instant coffee granules (yes, ¼ cup)
  • 400g milk chocolate (original recipe is 300g white choc, 100g dark choc)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1½ cups thickened cream, whipped
For the meringue
  1. Preheat the oven to 120C and draw 2 x 20cm circles on baking paper
  2. Dissolve the coffee in the water
  3. Combine the cornflour with the almond meal
  4. Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form
  5. Add the sugar in spoonfuls and beat until thick and glossy
  6. Scrape down the sides then add the almond meal mix and whisk until just combined
  7. Turn the baking paper upside-down (so the pencil doesn't transfer onto the meringue) and place on two baking trays
  8. Spoon the meringue onto the two circles and smooth with a pallet knife or spatula
  9. Bake for 1hr, then turn off the oven and leave in there for 2 hours or overnight
For the mousse
  1. Put the ½ cup of cream and the coffee in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water
  2. Once the coffee starts dissolving add the chocolate and stir every now and then until it's all melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly (I basically waited until it was blood warm)
  3. Whisk the eggwhites until soft peaks
  4. Mix the egg yolks into the chocolate then fold through the eggwhites
  5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (or in my case a few hours because I made it all out of order!)
To assemble
  1. Grease and line a 24cm springform tin
  2. Place one of the meringue discs into the bottom of the cake pan, top with mousse and then the remaining meringue
  3. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours
  4. Dust with icing sugar


Lemon ricotta cake

coming together nicely

I have a go to flourless orange cake which I adore, but the other day had some divine paesanella ricotta hanging around that needed to be used. Seeing as I’m doing the whole no carbs with fat/protein and no refined carbs a nifty little batch of ricotta gnocchi was out of the question (quietly sobs) and I was at a bit of a loss when I came across this Ben O’Donoghue and thought BINGO! It has a smidge of (semolina) flour in it but I was willing to overlook it. I love Ben’s recipes and he was always my favourite in Surfing the Menu. Curtis Stone is just a little to much of a show-pony-pretty-boy for my cooking likes.

‘My’ custard powder pastry recipe and the associated free-form apple pie is his Nan’s and I reckon that’s pretty cool.

So let’s get on with it.

Rather tasty

Lemon ricotta cake (in which I used oranges)

Recipe from: At home with Ben, Ben O’Donoghue

  • 225g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 65g semolina flour
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Rind of 6 lemons
  • 300g ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 160C and grease and line a 26cm springform cake tin
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until very pale then add the egg yolks one at a time
  3. Combine the almond meal, semolina, half the lemon zest and half the juice (although when I made it with oranges I added all the zest because I didn’t read the recipe properly. Rookie mistake) and fold into the butter and sugar mixture
  4. Crumble in the ricotta and fold through (Ben appears to leave it in little chunks whereas my ricotta was wetter so was more incorporated)
  5. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks and then fold through the mixture
  6. Pour into the tin and bake for 40mins or until a skewer comes out clean (I find with flourless cakes the time can vary massively – just persevere and cover with foil if you’re worried the top is getting too dark)
  7. Make a syrup with the remaining juice, zest, 1/2 cup of sugar and a cup of water by bringing it to the boil then reducing by half (I sort of forgot to read this bit and just made a syrup of equal parts sugar and juice)
  8. Pour over the cake and eat until you can eat no more.
just a wafer monsieur





Apple custard teacakes

A few weeks back the Australian Womens’ Weekly had a recipe for a Raspberry Custard Teacake in it. I made it. Three times. It was good but there was something lacking. Or actually more annoying for you see, the custard, it kept sinking. I knew it would, you could see it in the photos in the magazine but I didn’t want it to sink, I wanted it through the cake.

So I mulled on it a while.

And then, in making something else from the magazine’s cookbook 1000 Best Ever Recipes from AWW I came across a recipe for apple custard cupcakes. With some tweaking (the apple coming from its apple pie slice rather than plain sliced apple) I have found it. The best cupcake ever. EVER!

Use a traditional sized cupcake tray, not a muffin tray. I have also made it as a cake by doubling it all but it was a bit tricky and I burnt the crap out of the bottom of it as it – obviously – needs a while to cook through. Next time I’d probably make it as a slab cake rather than round tall cake.

Apple Custard Teacakes

1000 Best Ever Recipes from AWW

The cake

  • 90g butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup SR flour
  • 1/4 cup custard powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Topping:
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 1 tblsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

The apple (you’ll only use about half of this in the recipe but mmm stewed apples, put the leftovers on your brekkie – unless you have eggs, because that’d be gross)

  • 6 medium apples (just under 1kg), peeled, cored, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sultanas
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind

The custard

  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
To make the custard:
  1. Mix the custard powder and sugar with the milk and vanilla
  2. In a small saucepan stir over heat until the mixture boils and thickens
  3. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl, cover the surface with clingwrap and cool
To cook the apples:
  1. Cooke apples, sugar, the water and sultanas in a large saucepan, uncovered and stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until the apple is soft and the mixture is not too wet
  2. Stir in spice and rind and let cool.
To make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line 12 hole 1/3 cup cupcake (or small muffin) tray
  2. Beat the butter, sugar, extract, eggs, flour, custard powder and milk in a small bowl of an electric mixer until ingredients combined, then increase speed and beat until mixture has turned to a pale colour
  3. Spoon 1 heaped dessert spoon (approx) into each paper case (or divide whole mixture in half then distribute half into the paper cases)
  4. Top with a heaped teaspoon of apple mixture
  5. Top the apple with a heaped teaspoon of custard
  6. Top the custard with another heaped dessert spoon of cake batter – try and cover the custard, yes, a bit fiddly but worth it.
  7. Bake cakes for about 30 minutes
  8. Brush hot cakes with melted butter and sprinkle over combined sugar and cinnamon
Try to eat only one.

Pineapple Apple Slice

Don’t you love reviving a recipe you used to made decades ago only to discover it is as delicious as your memories made it? I’d be nervous to try that principle with my Nan’s chow mein (think a lot of cabbage, beef mince and curry paste, there may even have been sultanas) or Mum’s apricot chicken (the one using the can of apricot nectar and the packet of french onion dip mix which I still see doing the rounds) but with this slice it was a delightful trip down memory lane.

Seriously, it’s probably been more than two decades since I started making this. I am fairly certain it is a Women’s Weekly recipe – how could it not be! When Mum had a piece she recalled this was one of the first recipes I made from go to wo on my own. So I was probably 10 or 12.

Pineapple Apple Slice

  • 185g butter
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 410g can of crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 480g can of pie apple
  1. Grease and flour a 22cm square cake pan and preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well
  4. Fold in the flour, the batter with be thick
  5. Spoon half the mix into the base of the tin and spread evenly
  6. Top with the mixed tinned pineapple and apple
  7. Dollop spoons of the batter over the top and smooth out as best you can – this is not a precise science, it’s OK to have some of the filling sticking through
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, cool and then sift over some icing sugar.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...