I decided to go for full on autumn flavours with a pumpkin sponge and pecan praline topping. All helped with a good smothering of dark chocolate ganache.
For this I used a combination of Marta Stewart recipes, including the pumpkin sponge I made into mini cakes here, and the pecan praline. The ganache was my first attempt and a bit of guestimating!
Pumpkin cake, with dark chocolate ganache & pecan praline
(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 cups plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (I used Libby's)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease 3 regular sandwich tins.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and eggs. Add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the pumpkin puree,
- Divide the batter evenly between the tins. Bake until golden and the tops spring back when touched, roughly 25-30 minutes. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
200g dark chocolate
300ml double cream
2tbsp golden caster sugar
- Chop the chocolate into small chunks and tip into a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the double cream in a pan, add the sugar and heat until it is about to boil.
- Take off the heat and pour over the chocolate chunks.
- Continue to stir until all chunks have melted and the mixture is smooth.
(Recipe from Martha Stewart)
vegetable oil, for baking tray
1 cup golden caster sugar
1 cup whole pecans, lightly toasted
- Lightly coat a baking tray with vegetable oil and set aside.
- Mix together the sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Cover and cook, without stirring, until an amber coloured syrup has formed, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pecans. Pour mixture onto prepared baking tray and leave to cool completely.
- When the praline has cooled, coarsely chop.
To finish, I sandwiched the three layers of pumpkin cake with lashings of chocolate ganache. Then, poured the rest over the top. Did a little tidying up and sprinkled over the chopped pecan praline.
There was enough praline left to cover one more cake...Martha advises to store in an airtight container at room temperature.