Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sweet Potato Pecan Spice Cake with Toasted Pecan Glaze #BundtBakers


Baked sweet potato, peeled then mashed, can be used in a variety of sweet or savory dishes. In this beautiful Bundt cake it adds flavor, sweetness and texture. With the pecans inside and then piled on top in a sticky glaze, this is a dessert that will add autumn spice to any holiday table.

Autumn Harvest
This month’s Bundt Baker theme is Autumn Harvest and I was fully prepared to try something new. New to me, that is. I could have sworn it was around this time last year that I saw quince for sale in the Dubai supermarkets but this year, nothing. Come to find out, quince season starts in October so I’ll have to wait a month to get out my runcible spoon. Meanwhile, I chose to use my favorite of all fall produce, the sweet potato. I’ve been known to boil and freeze these babies and haul them, Ziplocked, in my suitcase to various countries, just to make sure we will have candied yams for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. No kidding.

Sweet Potatoes vs Yams
In the southern United States we use the terms sweet potato and yam interchangeably to mean those root vegetables that are pinky brown on the outside and brilliantly orange on the inside. I’ve discovered in my travels that yam refers to a very different vegetable in other places. There are, in fact, 600 species of yams and the American sweet potato is not even in the same family genetically. Who knew? But I’ll tell you what, I learned to call a sweet potato a sweet potato overseas or risk getting something white or yellow or even purple set on my plate. Real yams are much drier than our sweet potatoes and not nearly as sweet. They are a staple for many in our world, especially in Africa because they can be stored for up to six months without refrigeration or can be dried and milled into flour which can last even longer. Now I’m not saying they wouldn’t make a decent cake and many swear that ice cream made from the purple ones is the best, but, if you can, use the orange sweet potato for this recipe.

Many thanks to our wonderful host, Tux of Brooklyn Homemaker, for proposing the great Autumn Harvest theme and doing all the behind-the-scenes work this month for our Bundt Bakers group post.

Ingredients
For the Bundt cake batter:
1 cup or 100g pecans
3 cups or 375g flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups or 500g sugar
1 cup or 240ml canola or other light oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups or 385g cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (nothing else added)
2/3 cup or 160ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:
1 cup or 100g pecans
2/3 cup or 130g sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Good pinch salt
1 tablespoon browned butter (or normal butter if that’s all you’ve got), at room temperature

Method
Toast your pecans (2 cups or 200g total – for the batter and for the glaze) in a dry skillet over a medium low flame. This takes just a few minutes so keep stirring and mixing the nuts up to make sure that none scorch. When you can smell the rich aroma of toasted pecans and all of them are little bit darker brown, remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

Chop the pecans roughly with a sharp knife and divide them in two.



Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg and set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, beat the oil and sugar together until well blended. Add the eggs one at time, beating well between them. The mixture should turn light yellow and a little fluffy.

Add in the flour mixture, the sweet potato, the buttermilk, one pile of the chopped pecans and the vanilla. Mix on a low speed until completely combined and then mix on medium high for two to three minutes.



Pour into your prepared Bundt pan and bake in the preheated oven for one hour and 15 minutes. Start checking it for doneness at one hour though, as ovens vary in consistency and often have temperature fluctuations.



Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning the Bundt cake out on to a wire rack to cool completely.



When it is completely cooled, prepare your glaze by putting the sugar, water, vanilla and a good pinch of salt into a small pot.

Heat over a medium flame until the sugar is dissolved then add the second pile of chopped toasted pecans.



Cook for a few minutes or until the glaze thickens slightly.  Take the pot off the stove and add in the browned butter. Stir well. You can add in a little more water, if the glaze seems too thick.



Carefully spoon the pecans and glaze over the cooled cake. Yes, it’s a lot of pecans. No, it’s not too many. Just keep spooning. There can never be too many pecans on a sweet potato cake.



Enjoy!




BundtBakers


Who else is ready to bake with Autumn produce? Check out the gorgeous bunch of Bundts we have for you this month with apples, cranberries, carrots, zucchini, figs, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and more!

#Bundt Bakers
Interested in learning more about us? BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here.

Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page here.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.



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