|Ring of No Regrets|
This weekend is another birthday, though, for an adult in the family. No sculpture necessary. It just has to be tasty as heck and not look as though a train ran it over and it caused a derailment.
Therefore, I have the freedom to explore a variety of flavors, textures, and extra ingredients, all of which I hope will please the palates of the family. And I may have hit on one. Well, at least if the rest of the crowd isn't impressed, The Bat and I will have some extremely decadent treats.
Because…pecans and butter. What's not to love?
|You know you want some of that butter and pecan bliss…|
My inspiration was a recipe I found in my mailbox, but I had to adapt it to remove the wheat, and…well, once you mess with flour in a cake, there's a huge risk you're going to end up with something completely different from the original plan. I realize there are some very good gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flours on the market (I generally use Pamela's™because it's reliable & reasonably priced), but when your recipe is in volume rather than weight, textures can vary. Also, I was interested in finding out whether a cake with nut meal in its base was everything the GF sites said it was.
Seriously, even if this had come out nothing but crumbs, I'd have spent an hour licking the last crumbs off the countertop.
Try it for yourself.
Praline and Butter Pecan Pound Cake (gluten free)
2 cups pecan pieces
3/4 pound unsalted butter (3 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons, divided
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar (plus more for pan)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups almond flour (almond meal)
1 1/2 cups gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablsepoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pralines (or simple pecan halves) (optional)
Set out all refrigerated ingredients at least 1/2 hour ahead of time, so that everything you work with is at room temperature.
Finely chop 2 cups of pecans (I use a tool designed expressly for the purpose). In a large frying pan, melt 2 Tablespoons butter, add in chopped pecans. Stir until butter covers the pieces completely, continue to stir until they're lightly browned (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 325º F (approx 165º C).
Completely coat the inside of your non-stick baking pan with non-stick spray, then "dust" it with a coating of granulated sugar (I used a bundt pan, but you might want to pull out your large tube pan). Arrange 1/2 cup pecan halves facing downward on the bottom of pan.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together granulated & brown sugars until evenly combined. Set aside.
Into a medium mixing bowl, sift together almond flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Using your stand mixer bowl with paddle (or a heavy-duty hand mixer, if you don't have a solid stand mixer) at low speed, mix together sugar and butter until just combined, add eggs and mix only until the yolks are broken.
With mixer continuing at low speed, begin adding in the dry ingredients a few tablespoons at a time until all combined.
Add in vanilla, mix in completely.
Add chopped pecans, stir by hand, if necessary.
Scoop batter into cake pan carefully, so as to avoid disturbing your layer of pecans.
Bake 75 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven, allow to cool completely.
(If the cake sticks to the pan at this point, warm it a few minutes in the oven, to soften the sugar in the crust enough for it to release from the pan.)
Serve in small slices, perhaps with unsweetened whipped cream or with ice cream.