Even though my professional life revolves around creating multimedia content for websites, I am a social media skeptic. I don’t know why I’m so contrary, but there it is. So when we were assembling Wonderland Kitchen and Brian twisted my arm to adopt my @wonderlandk handle, I’ll admit that I was a reluctant Tweeter. Still, I picked out a few foodies to follow, and enjoyed lurking in the digital shadows, checking in on their chatter and lovely recipes from time to time. When one particularly delicious blogger announced his latest cake creation, I threw in my first comment:
I promptly wondered why I’d bothered. Then, a few seconds later, a response popped up:
We went back and forth like that a few more times, and even though it was about a minute of total mental effort, it stuck with me afterward. Here we were, two strangers unlikely to have otherwise ever traded a word in our lifetimes, suddenly connected by cake. It was sweet, simple, and only existentially soul-shaking if you stared at it too hard. (Ahem.)
Flash forward to today, and I made this cake, and @rvank sent his good wishes, and now I’ll take it along, over river/through woods, to the Thanksgiving feast we plan to share with our family tomorrow. The world feels a little closer, a little warmer as a result of these casual connections, so a shout from Wonderland to everyone out there reading and cooking this weekend: We here in this kitchen raise a glass to you and yours, wishing you all the best as we celebrate the bounty of the season.
And now, the cake! This recipe reminds me how much more I love baking when you can weigh your ingredients. So pull out your kitchen scale and let’s get to it. Thanksgiving is only a few hours away!
Pecan and Whipped Cream Cake
4 ounces pecans
1 ounce powdered sugar
5 ounces bread flour
4 ounces cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
11 ounces granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a bundt pan.
Place pecans and powdered sugar together in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until nuts are broken down just a bit rougher than a meal. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, and add in the flours, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In a second bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a third bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together for several minutes. Then, using a wide spatula, fold half of the dry ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture, followed by half of the whipped cream. Repeat the process again with the remaining portions of each, fully incorporating but taking care not to over-mix and deflate the batter.
Pour into the prepared bundt pan and smooth with the spatula. Place in the preheated oven and immediately reduce the baking temperature to 325°F.* Bake for 45-50 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the cake won’t be clean, should come out with crumbs sticking to it, not raw batter. Cool on a rack, then loosen and turn out onto your serving platter. It should fall right out, but a light dusting of powdered sugar will disguise most removal-inflicted scars.
*I forgot this step and found myself flying back down the stairs five minutes later. Disaster averted, I still ended up baking my cake for closer to 53 minutes, which is typical of my oven. Here’s hoping I judged correctly; bread I have down, but cakes still make me nervous.