For the Pecan and Caramel Cake:
- 175g plain flour
- 7g bicarbonate of soda
- 200g dark brown sugar, free of lumps
- 75g pecan nuts, ground
- 200ml buttermilk
- 115g lightly salter butter, melted
- 1 tsp caramel flavour
- 2 medium eggs
- 65g granulated sugar
- 40g pecan halves
- 75g dark brown sugar
- 150g lightly salted butter
- 325g icing sugar
- 1 tsp caramel flabour
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C Fan oven, 350˚F, gas 4). Grease and line 3 x 18cm (7 inch) Victoria sandwich tins.
- Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, dark brown sugar and ground pecan nuts together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
- In a jug, mix the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and caramel flavour together and pour into the centre of the dry ingredients. Mix well to make a thick batter.
- Divide between the tins and spread over the tops evenly. Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes until golden and just firm to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack. Lightly skewer the tops of each cake several times and gently pour over the sachets of cake drizzle – try not to skewer all the way through the cakes otherwise, the drizzle may seep out.
- To decorate, line a small baking tray with baking parchment and sprinkle the pecan halves over the top, spaced a little apart. Put the sugar in a saucepan and add 15ml (1tbsp) cold water. Heat gently, stirring, until dissolved, then raise the heat, and cook without stirring for about 3 minutes until richly golden. Immediately pour the caramelised sugar over the pecan halves to coat them and leave to set.
- Meanwhile, put the dark brown sugar in a small saucepan and add 45ml (3 tbsp) cold water. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and raise the heat. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
- Put the butter in a bowl and beat until smooth and glossy. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar to make a stiff icing. Mix in the cold sugar syrup and caramel flavour and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Using one-third of the frosting, spread over 2 of the cakes and sandwich all three cakes together. Press down gently and transfer to a serving plate.
- Using a palette knife, thickly spread the remaining frosting over the sides and top of the cake. Break up the caramelised pecans and sprinkle over the cake. Your cake is now ready to serve and enjoy!
Don't like pecans? Toasted almonds, Brazil nuts and walnuts make for excellent alternatives.