This delightful and rich cake takes some time to prepare, but it is worth every minute.
For the candies nuts: (can be made a few days before)
- 225 g pecan nuts, coarsely chopped
- 55 g brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon nutmeg
- 55 g butter, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 220° C and position rack in upper third of the oven
Place the pecan nuts in a large ungreased metal pan and roast them for 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix in the butter.
Stir in the hot pecan nuts, coat them thoroughly with the butter mixture and roast again for 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
Mix in the vanilla extract and roast another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Cool the candied pecan nuts to room temperature.
For the Cake
Preparation for three 20cm round cake pans:
Preheat the oven to 170 C
- 170 g butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 300 g sugar
- 340 g flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 3 dl milk
- 3 egg whites
Grease and flour the three round cake pans
In a bowl cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy for about 5 minutes.
Add the milk and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture and sift in the flour and baking powder and mix them until everything is nicely combined.
Gently stir in the candied pecan nuts.
Beat egg whites until frothy and beat in the sugar until the mixture is stiff but not dry.
Gently fold egg whites into the batter.
Divide the batter among the prepared three pans and bake the cakes for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Invert layers onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
For the glaze
- 1 dl water
- 50 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat water and sugar in a small pan over low heat until the sugar dissolves, swirling pan occasionally.
Increase heat and bring the mixture to boil.
Remove it from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and brush the glaze over the top of each layer.
For the cream-cheese-butter pecan filling: (can be made one day before)
- 225 g chopped pecan
- 200 g butter
- 300 g cream cheese
- 100 g confectioner sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the pecan nuts, confectioner sugar and vanilla.
Assemble the cake
Stack the layers on a serving platter, spreading the frosting between each layer.
Refrigerating the cake as necessary to firm.
For the glossy caramel icing
- 150 g sugar
- 1 dl heavy cream
Place the sugar in a large skillet over medium heat and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until it begins to melt and turn golden.
Slowly pour the cream into skillet careful and reduce the heat to medium low, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Change to a whisk and continue stirring slowly to minimize bubbles until the caramel is completely smooth.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour icing directly onto chilled prepared cake and decorate with pecan nuts.