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Pecan Spice Cake

September 27, 2013

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This is a lovely cake, moist and full of rich spicy flavor.  Really good on its own with a sprinkling of powered sugar and even better with Vanilla Ice Cream or whipped cream.

I really have no idea where I got this recipe.  I ripped it out of a magazine and I baked it in 1991 but there is no reference to a magazine or date.    I wanted to give credit to the magazine it came from but my search on the internet resulted in ALOT of pecan spice cakes but not this one.

It has quite a list of ingredients but nothing out of the ordinary.  It does require you to whip egg whites and fold them into the batter.  This might be a bit intimidating, if you’ve never done it before.  But the key is to be gentle.  I like to break my eggs right out of the refrigerator when they are cold.  The shells don’t shatter as much when cracked, so you are not left with bits of egg-shell to deal with.  Do one egg at a time, breaking them over a small bowl and then putting egg yolks and eggs whites each into larger separate bowls.  Do not whip the egg whites until the recipe tells you to.  If you do them ahead of time, they can separate and will tend to weep, or get watery.

Take 1/2 your whipped eggs whites, placing it on top of the batter.  Cut through the middle with your rubber spatula, and slide it along the bottom of the bowl, bringing the batter over the whipped eggs.  Turn your bowl a 1/4 of a turn and repeat until all the whipped egg whites are incorporated.  There are plenty of videos out there to watch if seeing the technique will help.  Just plug-in “folding whipped egg whites into batter”.

Pecan Spice Cake

2-3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1-3/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

4 large egg yolks

1-3/4 cups grated carrots (about 2 very large or 4 medium)

3 ounces pecans, finely ground

5 large egg whites

pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Canola oil spray and flour or use Pam Baking Spray (available at your supermarket) a 10 inch diameter Bundt Pan (this is what I have) or 2, 6 cup  Mini Bundt Pans.

Place the first 9 ingredients, from flour to allspice, in a sifter over a medium bowl.   Sift gently to incorporate everything and set aside.

Place milk and vanilla in a 2 cup glass measuring cup and set aside.

Beat butter and sugars together in mixer until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.  Add yolks and beat until incorporated.  Stir in half of flour mixture and beat until almost incorporated.  Add half of milk mixture.  Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture and milk mixture.  Mix in carrots and pecans for about 30 seconds.

Whip egg whites and a pinch of salt with clean, dry beaters (I use my hand mixer for this) until stiff (soft peak) but not dry.  Fold into batter in 2 additions.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 55 to 60 minutes for large bundt cake and 20-25 minutes for mini-bundt pans or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan on rack for 10 minutes.  Then turn out cake onto rack and cool completely.

mini bundt pans, sprayed with Pam Baking spray:

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10 in. diameter bundt pan sprayed with Pam Baking spray:

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I like this brand of pecans. I’ve tried others but this has the best flavor and is always fresh:

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I like to grind the nuts finely, I don’t like big chunks of pecans in my cake:

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I use a box grater to grate the carrots:

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mis en place:

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the batter, it’s quite thick:

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whipped egg whites, note the soft peak:

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folding egg whites into batter:

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folding done:

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I used 1/2 cup of batter in each cavity but it turned out to be too much.  Next time 1/3 cup:

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I needed to cut away some of the edge of each little cake:

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once out of the pan, they looked good, just a little rough on the bottom:

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batter in the bundt pan:

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out of the oven and then out of the pan after resting for 10 minutes:

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a little dusting of confectionary sugar:

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