Brown Sugar Pecan Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Brown Sugar Pecan Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Imperial Sugar Dark Brown Sugar, well packed
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 1 cup pecan pieces, optional
Ganache Filling and Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups whipping or heavy cream
- 2/3 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 pound chocolate (55-60 % cocoa mass content)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pecan Caramel Topping
- 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
- 1/3 cup Imperial Sugar Dark Brown Sugar, well packed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 8 or 9-inch baking pans and set aside. (Fitting a round piece of parchment paper on bottom of baking pan is highly recommended for easy removal of cake.)
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Mix butter until very creamy. Add both sugars and mix well.
- Add one egg at a time waiting for previously added egg to be fully incorporated before adding next. Add vanilla. If mixture becomes dense instead of fluffy it is a sign that batter is too cold. Heat sides of bowl using a hair dryer to obtain a light and fluffy mixture.
- Alternately add dry ingredients with milk in 5 increments, starting with and ending with flour. Gently stir in pecans if using.
- Divide batter evenly into pans and place in oven, bake for 30-33 minutes or until center of cake bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger or until an inserted toothpick comes clean.
- After 5 minutes turn upside down on plastic food lined surface and allow to cool completely before filling or frosting, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile prepare ganache. If chocolate is in a bar form cut it in pea size pieces and set aside in a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients.
- In a saucepan bring heavy cream and sugar to a full boil. Remove from heat and pour onto chocolate. Add butter and whisk smooth.
- Once ganache has cooled to room temperature it will be firm enough to fill and frost cake. If needed, accelerate setting by placing ganache bowl in a bowl filled with ice cubes. Stir frequently as ganache will set on sides first. When ganache has obtained consistency of ketchup remove from ice as it will continually set. (Even when removed from ice). If ganache was left too long on ice and has become too firm, place it briefly over hot water bath to obtain a spreadable consistency.
- Place a cake round on a serving platter and remove parchment paper. Spread with 1/4 of ganache.
- Cover with second cake layer and spread another 1/4 of ganache.
- Place last cake layer on top. Frost cake with a thin layer of ganache to seal in any crumbs. Place cake in freezer until ganache has set, about 20 minutes.
- Frost cake and pipe a border of ganache on edges of cake.
- For pecan topping bring to a boil cream, brown sugar, butter, and salt. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- Add vanilla and pecans and mix until combined. Allow to cool to room temperature as hot mixture would melt ganache on cake.
- Decorate with pecan caramel.
- Cake is most delicious when served at room temperature.