Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2007 Holiday Party: Pecan Wine Cake

I decided to start this blog to better keep track of my thoughts about the recipes I've tried cooking and baking. And what better time to start than after our 2007 Holiday party.

This being almost Christmas-time, it was a little bit more dessert-heavy than our usual parties. I made a Pecan Wine Cake from the Fall/Winter 2007 Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication "Italian" that I stole from my mom's house. This is a very convenient cake to make for a party, both because it is quite big and because you can make it several days in advance and it will remain moist and delicious until the day of the party, as long as you keep it wrapped in tinfoil in the fridge. Just make sure you have a pretty big bundt pan or tube pan available - I am not sure mine was big enough given how high the cake rose during the baking process. Next time I make this cake, I will definitely consider cutting the recipe by ¼ or ⅓ so it works better with the bundt pans I have.

Pecan Wine Cake
Adapted from Fall/Winter 2007 Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication "Italian"

1⅓ cups granulated sugar
1⅔ cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
4 eggs
3⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground mace (I didn't have mace so I used nutmeg instead)
⅛ teaspoon salt
1⅓ cups fruity white wine
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Sifted powdered sugar (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch (12-cup) fluted tube pan; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugars; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Add half of the sugar mixture to the creamed butter. Increase mixer speed; beat mixture until smooth. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk (I used an electric handheld mixer) until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Gradually whisk the remaining sugar mixture into the eggs. Continue whisking until consistency is smooth and creamy. Add this mixture to the butter mixture; whisk until smooth.

4. In another large bowl, combine flour, mace, and salt. Alternately add the flour mixture and the wine to the butter-and-egg mixture; mix well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Stir in pecans.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; place on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours or until the cake is golden and a knife comes out clean when inserted. Cool cake in pan for 30 minutes. Turn out on a wire rack and cool completely. If desired, sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake.

Makes 16 to 20 servings.


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