Halloween Recipe: A Rum and Pecan Spice Cake Adults Will Crave

Photo: By wayneandwax via flickr.

Photo: By wayneandwax via flickr.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in New Orleans at a food writers conference. We were treated to many incredible New Orleans food delights, but one of the most scrumptious was Louisiana Chef John Folse’s Rum and Pecan Spice Cake.

Trust me, there is nothing like this in New York, anywhere. Rich, moist, and impossibly buttery—and very southern—this cake won praise all around.

So for Halloween, forget the candy corn and Twizzlers. (Folse’s recipe would also make a great Thanksgiving dessert,) For the sweetest Halloween possible, dive into this luscious cake instead.

RUM AND PECAN SPICE CAKE
Recipe provided by chef John Folse of Chef John Folse & Company, Gonzales, LA.

Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 10–12 Servings

The old fashion spice cakes were often the base for wonderful tasting yet creative desserts in Creole Louisiana. Cakes were flavored with aromatic spices combined with brown sugar and chopped pecans then moistened with syrup made from brandies, ratafia or rum from Hatti. This is one version of that sweet Creole treat.

INGREDIENTS
2½ cups cake flour
1½ tsps baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
⅛ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp clove
1½ cups chopped pecans
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup rum
roasted pecan halves (optional)

METHOD
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 (9-inch) cake pans with 2-inch lips. Line bottom of pans with buttered parchment paper or spray well with vegetable spray. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until light yellow and ribbony. Continue until all eggs are added. Blend in vanilla. Slowly blend in all dry ingredients in three equal additions alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend in cinnamon, clove and chopped pecans. Divide batter equally between 2 pans. Place cakes in center of oven and bake 30–35 minutes or until tester inserted into center of cakes come out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and peel off parchment paper. Cool completely. To make a rum syrup, combine remaining water, ¼ cup sugar and rum. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved completely and syrup coats the back of the spoon. Syrup should be reduced by 25%. Cool slightly. Using a toothpick or skewer, insert at 10–12 intervals around the cake and brush with syrup. The holes will allow the syrup to reach the center of the cake. To serve, you may wish to cut into serving pieces or using a 2-inch pastry cutter, cut into circles, or frost whole cakes with your favorite icing to create a layer cake. Top with roasted pecan halves (optional).

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