A couple months ago we had a wedding shower for my friend Amanda. The set up was ridiculously cute with everyone pitching in different dishes. There were cookies as favors, fun games, and a crazy cute chalkboard sign! OMG we had so much fun celebrating!
The debate was a short one for figuring out what I would make. With the bride being from Vermont I knew I had to do something with maple syrup. And it just so happened that I’d seen a cake recipe on Pastry Affair just a couple days before that looked perfect! It turned out beautifully with good flavor from the maple syrup and nuts in the batter. The icing was an Italian Meringue maple syrup frosting that was light and spread on smooth. It was then garnished with toasted pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup around the edges.
The super cute couple saying hello to the bride’s mom. 😀
This recipe is from Pastry Affair, a fantastic blog by a fellow pastry lover. This is the first recipe of hers I’ve tried and I’ll certainly be going back for more! The original recipe has been doubled to make enough batter for two 8 inch layers. For the nuts in the recipe, I used half pecans and half almonds sense that’s what I had on hand. You are making a flour from the nuts so you can absolutely substitute almond or pecan meal to speed up the process.
1.5 cups (212g) whole almonds and pecans
12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
12 tablespoons (120g) maple syrup
2 large eggs
2.5 cups (312g) all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 8 inch cake tins with Baker’s Spray (spray with flour) or liberally butter and flour. Set aside.
If using whole nuts, spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 minutes. Once cool, process in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup, beat to combine and then the eggs being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a medium sized bowl combine the processed nuts (or almond/pecan meal), flour, spices, salt, and baking powder. Whisk and add to the liquid ingredients beating until just incorporated. Add the milk and beat on low until smooth.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set on a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
*The cakes can be made in advance and frozen until you’re ready to ice them.
Maple Syrup Italian Meringue
6 large egg whites
12 tablespoons (152g)granulated sugar
1/2 cup (180g) brown sugar, not packed
8 tablespoons (80g) maple syrup
1.5-2 cups (340g to 454g) butter (very soft room temperature)
Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment.
In a small saucepan combine the sugars and cover with enough water to where the sugars have a sandy texture. Heat on medium to high heat to 238 degrees. Meanwhile beat the egg whites to soft peak.
Once the sugar/water is at 238 degrees, take it off the heat and pour it into the beaten egg whites with the mixer on low. Try to avoid the whisk and the sides of the bowl pouring it directly into the egg whites.
Beat on high until the bowl is no longer hot but just a little warm (body temp). Add the butter is small pieces constantly beating the mixture on medium to high speed. The mixture will start to resemble a buttercream with the last couple of additions. Keep adding butter until it reaches this point.
If it breaks, remove the bowl from the mixture and heat over the stove top for 2 seconds, take off and beat either manually with a whisk or on the mixer. This melts some of the butter and brings it back together. Once it’s the right consistency, whisk in the maple syrup and ice!
*If this sounds a little complicated, do a simple buttercream. Beat two room temperature sticks of butter, add enough powdered sugar until the mixture looks super thick. Thin it out maple syrup adding it a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is a spreadable consistency.