Readers of my blog will know how fond I am of putting ground almonds into my cakes, they add so much to the texture as well as the flavour of a cake. I was pondering the other day, how pecans might be substituted for almonds; they have a higher fat content, so there would have to be some adjustment. This is the recipe I devised for a cake which undoubtedly has a chocolate flavour but isn't the traditional dark chocolate colour because I used finely grated chocolate rather than cocoa powder.
For this recipe you will need;
200g of toasted pecan nuts
150g of dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
140g of self raising flour
140g of light muscovado flour
40g of caster sugar
180g of unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of good vanilla extract
Begin by toasting the pecan nuts in a moderate oven, 180C for 8 minutes. Grind the cooled nuts in a food processor on a pulse setting until you have a fine rubble, avoid over processing, the fat content of pecans will produce pecan butter all too quickly. Tip the pecans out and place the broken up chocolate in the processor and again process on pulse until you have chocolate rubble. Chocolate, for some reason takes on a static charge very quickly as anyone who has tried grating it will know so this method works well.
Heat the oven to 180C.
In a food mixer, cream the sugars and the butter until smooth, add the eggs, vanilla and the salt and continue beating. Add the nuts and chocolate and on a medium speed mix for 5 minutes, you'll find the mix becomes light and mousse-like. Gently fold in the flour sifted with the baking powder and transfer the mix to a greased 22cm by 6cm loose bottomed cake tin. Bake the cake for 50 minutes, turn the heat down to 160 for the last 10 minutes if you think the cake is becoming too dark. Switch off the heat and leave the cake in the oven for a further 5 minutes before taking out the cake; leave the cake in the tin to cool completely before removing.