I thought it was about time for another epic cake. If I could, I would just create OMG cakes all day long, but then they wouldn’t be special, right? And boy is this one special. See how many words are in the title? Life tip: when you see a cake with THAT many delicious things in it’s name, you know it’s going to be gooooooood. Just look at it… *moment of silence, please*
Remember when you discovered proper dark chocolate for the first time? This is like that. The real friggin’ deal. A total game-changer.
My general motto in life, is that if something tastes good on a spoon, it automatically tastes good in anything else. And this cake once again, proves my hypothesis (woah big word alert). The sugar takes it to a whole different level.
FYI ‘Muscovado’ means ‘unrefined’ in Spanish – although in Spanish they say ‘Mascabado’ – and Muscovado sugar was first crafted in Latin America several centuries ago.
Muscovado Cake with Pecans, Cream Cheese Frosting and Muscovado Glaze
4 large eggs
120g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
280g cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
100g pecan nuts, finely chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting
500g Natura Demerara Icing Sugar, sifted
100g butter, softened
250g full fat cream cheese*
50g Light Muscovado Sugar
50g Dark Muscovado Sugar
Crushed shortbread (I used chocolate-coated shortbread balls too)
Candied pecan nuts, crushed
Pecan praline shards (see Tip)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Grease and line 4 x 20cm sandwich cake tins (or use two and slice the cake in half). In a stand mixer, whip the eggs and sugar until very light (almost white), thick and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the egg mixture. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and fold into the creamed mixture along with the chopped pecan nuts. Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the sponge is golden brown on top and bounces back when pressed lightly. Allow the cakes to cool completely, upside down, before unmoulding. For the frosting, cream the butter, Muscovado and Demerara Icing sugar until light and very fluffy. Add the cream cheese and whip until very fluffy. To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until dissolved. Then bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute then set aside and allow to cool. Assemble the cake by layering the cake with the cream cheese frosting. To make layering easier, freeze the layers for 20-30 minutes before you begin assembling, this will make the cake more rigid and keep the frosting in place. Frost the sides of the cake, drizzle with the glaze, then decorate with pecan nuts, shortbread and extra frosting piped on top.
TIP If you’d like to create the pecan shards, place 1 cup of light Muscovado sugar in a saucepan with 1 tbsp water and simmer until melted and caramelized. Pour over a handful of pecan nuts scattered on a greased and lined baking tray. Allow to cool completely then break into shards. I also crushed some to toss onto the side of the cake.
This post has been sponsored by Natura Sugars who produce a range of really special sugars that are unrefined and made according to traditional Mauritian sugar-making techniques. The sugars are non-GM, non-irradiated and unbleached with no preservatives, colourants or syrups added which basically means they are pure, natural and packed with flavour!