Pecan Coffee Cake
This deliciously moist pecan nut and coffee cake, taken from my book Freeze, pleases every time and despite it's generous size, only needs 3 hours to defrost. It's very similar to a traditional coffee and walnut cake but I often find walnuts taste bitter and prefer the caramel-like flavour and crunch of pecans.
- 2 tbsp instant coffee
- 1 tbsp just-boiled water
- 65g pecan nuts
- 225g well-softened butter, plus extra for greasing
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp instant coffee
- 2tsp just-boiled water
- 150g softened butter
- 350g icing sugar sifted
- 20 pecan nuts
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 190 °C/ Fan 170 °C/ Gas 5. Grease 2 x20cm loose-based sandwich tins (the shallow ones) and line the bases with baking parchment. Spoon the coffee for the cake into a mug and stir in the water until dissolved. Leave to cool.
Put the 65g pecan nuts in a food processor and blitz to form fairly fine crumbs. Tip the crumbs into a bowl. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and coffee mixture in the food processor and blend on the pulse setting until well combined, thick and creamy. Add the blitzed pecans to the batter and mix until just combined. If you don't have a food processor, finely chop the nuts, tip all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk or wooden spoon until throughly combined.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the tins and smooth the surface. Bake on the same shelf in the centre of the oven for 23-25 minutes or until well risen and just beginning to shrink back from the sides of the tin. Remove the tins from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before carefully turning them out onto a wire rack. Peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool completely.
To make the icing, dissolve the coffee in the water and leave to cool. Put the butter in a food processor, or mixing bowl, add the icing sugar and add the coffee mixture. Beat until the icing is smooth and creamy.
Place on of the sponges on a plate or cake stand and spread with half the coffee icing. Top with the second sponge and spread with the remaining icing. Decorate with the pecan nuts. Leave to stand for at least an hour before serving to allow the icing to become a little firmer.
Open freeze the completed cake on a small baking tray for 2 hours then wrap tightly in foil. Label and freeze
Unwrap the cake as soon as it is taken from the freezer and put it on a plate or cake stand. Leave to thaw for 2-3 hours before serving.