Thursday, 29 September 2011

Maple Syrup Cake

Recipe Number Ninety Five:  Page 48.

It was Neil's birthday yesterday so I thought it only fair that he should pick out which cake he would like me to make. Maple Syrup was his cake of choice. I didn't need any persuading; the picture in the Baking Bible looks heavenly. I have never had maple syrup before. I must have led a sheltered life as everyone I've asked has tried it and looked at me in abject horror when I admitted I had not! I was looking forward to trying something new and I very much hoped I would like maple syrup!

We had an early start and Isaac was on the swings before 9am. I think this is a personal record! After the swings, we trudged round the shops, followed by toddler group, and then yet more shopping! With all the bags of food piled into the pram basket and, of course, a stone and a half of toddler, I was exhausted by the time we got home. Once I'd wolfed down lunch, I peeled myself from the comfort of our sagging sofa and went into the kitchen to commence the baking!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love Mary Berry for her all-in-one method. It is so easy, you could surely do it blindfold! First of all I weighed out the butter, muscovado sugar, and flour. To these basic ingredients I added eggs and orange zest. I had to grate the orange zest, so it did take a few minutes, but the only real hardship was washing the grater up afterwards! I of course needed to include the all important maple syrup. I measured this into a jug. I was expecting it to be thick and gooey like golden syrup, but in fact it was rather runny and much easier to deal with. After adding the syrup, I couldn't resist wiping a finger around the jug to see what it tasted like. My first thought was that it tasted slightly orangey. This explained why orange zest is used in the recipe; they compliment each other well. I whisked everything together until smooth. Last of all I added in some pecans. I didn't bother to go to the effort of chopping them; they were easy to break into pieces with my hands. I stirred in the nuts and then spooned the thick golden mixture into the cake tin. I left it to cook on a low heat whilst I regained my previous position on the sofa! An hour and 15 minutes later I took the perfectly cooked cake out of the oven. I couldn't believe how much it had risen; it was huge! I turned it out onto a wire rack to cool. By this time Isaac was up from his nap so it was time for fun and games again!

The filling and topping for the cake looked very straightforward. I just needed to whip up a lot of cream and stir in some maple syrup. Next I moved on to the part I hadn't been looking forward to; I had to slice the cake into three layers. Easier said than done. I was on my own with this one and I was so worried that I was going to ruin it! Very slowly and very carefully I cut the cake. I managed to get through this stressful experience relatively unscathed. Although the middle cake layer was almost as thin as paper and had a small hole it, it would be well hidden!! I put a thin layer of cream between the slices of cake. I then proceeded to smooth the remaining cream over the top and sides of the stacked cake. This job took longer than making the actual cake! I was lacking in cream and could have done with a bit more. The cream looked rather patchy in places. Every time I tried to smooth it over the sides I made things worse! I put shredded orange zest over the top of the finished cake which made it look quite pretty. I put some candles on and forced Neil to listen to a sing-song! Neil obviously had to cut the first slice and make a wish. He was suitably impressed by the three layers of the cake. We had a taste and, oh my! It was divine. The sponge was so moist and light and the pecans offered a pleasant crunch. The maple syrup flavour was evident but subtle. I loved the cream and syrup filling and topping; it complimented the cake perfectly. I really cannot fault this cake; I am so chuffed with it. Neil announced that this is his favourite recipe so far and I would have to agree. It has claimed the crown for my favourite cake! I will have to make sure there is always some maple syrup in the house from now on! 
Neil's Birthday Cake :-)


1 comment:

  1. That looks so gorgeous! I adore maple syrup so I must make this cake soon :-)