Friday, 30 November 2012

Spiced and Iced Sweet Potato Pecan Loaf

I adore the warmth and fragrance of seasonal winter spices. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves. All deep and woody. They smell the way they make you feel - wrapped up in a warm and comforting blanket.

To go with them, the autumn and winter seeds, nuts and vegetables in a glorious array of colours. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and pecans are some of the best.

This cake recipe I've created is a mix of almost them all. Sugar, spice and all things nice !

Recipe - for the cake

200g / 8oz plain flour
200g / 8 oz sugar
100g / 4 oz of sunflower or corn oil
3tsp baking powder
2 beaten eggs
1 cup sweet potato (mashed) - or use pumpkin / squash
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
a good pinch of ground nutmeg
50g of roughly chopped pecans

Sift dry ingredients and then mix in wet until thoroughly combined.

Transfer into a 2lb silicone loaf pan mould which has been lightly greased with butter and then dusted with flour. 

Bake in a 170deg C fan oven for approx 55mins or until a bamboo skewer comes out clean.

Recipe for the Buttercream 

125g of softened butter
3 > 4 cups of sieved icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp of maple syrup
small amount of milk as required to bring it together

Spread the buttercream frosting liberally over the top of your cooled cake, then drizzle the top lightly with a little more maple syrup.

Recipe - for the  Caramelised Spicy Pecans

1/2 cup of  caster sugar
40mls of water
knob of butter
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
150g of pecans
2 > 3 table spoons of pumpkin seeds

Boil the sugar, water and butter for about a minute without stirring. Pour into a bowl over the mixed nuts and spices. Stir well.

Spread into a single layer on a silicone baking sheet. Pop into a 160deg oven for about 5 mins. Stir well and then flatten out again. Put back in the oven for another 5 mins. Keep a watch they don't burn !

Remove from the oven and stir well. Spread out flat once more and leave until cooled and sugar has hardened and caked to the surface. Break up if required. This recipe creates enough spiced nuts to liberally scatter over TWO cakes, or enough for one cake and a small jar as a gift.

Sarah-Jane Nash - - November 2012

UPDATE - 3rd December..

Made this cake and took it along to December Clandestine Cake Club in Norwich.

Car was all loaded up with passengers. Only Oliver to drop at home with my husband. When we arrived, the house was in darkness. Steve was poorly and had gone to bed !

Oliver was very excited "I'm coming to cake club !"

Wasn't much else for it but to go for a little while complete with a little boy who really should have been going to bed !

Almost ready for bed, Oliver dragged blankie all round the venue.

Oliver looks carefully, then chooses a piece of Lucy's spiced chocolate cake !

Lorraine and Oliver do stickers !

Oliver loved the knitted Nativity and enormous knitted Christmas tree (yes , really) in the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich

Thanks to everyone at CCC - especially Lorraine for the stickers and Lucy for the santa and snowman that were on top of her cake !


I hope you have enjoyed my blog and found it useful. Please do leave any comments you may have - your feedback is much appreciated. Thanks for visiting !