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La Belle Cuisine
Toasted Pecan Caramel Cake
by Bill Neal, 1985, The University of North Carolina Press
"At any southern church supper, social, or dinner on the
cake will most likely vanish before any other dessert. The
cake - without the slightest grain to the icing - is
respected by all cooks;
particularly relished by the southern
male. Its appearance is no
reserved for Sundays, birthdays, or
I've always found the slightly
astringent quality of the pecan
to my taste. In this cake it works well to play
against the intense
sweetness of the praline icing."
1 cup (225 g) butter
2 cups (403 g) sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups (244 g) flour
3/4 cup (180 ml) finely ground pecans
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (235 ml) milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Butter and flour for the pans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
Grind the pecans to a fine mill in a nut
grinder, food processor or
blender. Proceed in small batches; blending too long will heat
nuts and render them oily.
Butter and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans. All ingredients
room temperature. Cream the butter well and gradually beat in the
the egg yolks one by one, reserving the whites for the final
the flour, ground
pecans, baking powder, and salt together.
of the mix
to the butter mixture.
Add 1/2 cup (118 ml)
of the milk, one-third of the dry ingredients, the remaining milk, then
remaining dry ingredients. Mix well and add vanilla extract.
In a separate clean bowl,
beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold one-
fourth of the egg whites into the
stirring well. Gently fold the remaining whites into the batter and
pour the batter into
pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. The cakes
will be lightly browned
and drawn away
from the edges of the pans.
Let cool 5 minutes
and turn out onto a cooling rack.
Caramel Icing and Garnish
1 pound (450 g) light brown sugar
1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
6 tablespoons (90 g) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
48 perfect pecan halves
1 tablespoon (15 g) butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Combine the brown sugar, cream, salt and
corn syrup in a heavy-
1 1/2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high
heat, stirring constantly. At the boil, cover the pot and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and
rapidly until a candy thermometer reaches 242 de-
F (117 degrees C) - this is the upper limit of the soft
hard ball if you
do not have a thermometer. At this point
heat and beat in 2 tablespoons cold butter. Let icing
cool to lukewarm.
While waiting for the icing to cool, roast the pecans with the 1
spoon butter for 10 minutes in the oven. Remove, sprinkle with sugar,
the oven for 2 more minutes. Let cool and reserve.
When icing is lukewarm, beat in vanilla extract and the remaining 4
tablespoons butter. Continue beating until icing thickens somewhat.
fairly glossy and smooth. (If icing cools too much,
texture and gloss can be restored
by reheating very gently with a
cream or milk.) When ready, ice cake and decorate
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Frosting (Paul Prudhomme)
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Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
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