|Whipped Cream Adds Extra Decadence|
Recipe by Great Grandma Ellen
It’s Mardi Gras, AKA Fat Tuesday, the final day for pre-Lenten revelers to indulge in, among other naughty things, sweet pecan cakes laced with liquor. This cake is unlike anything you’ll find in a bakery. The recipe is at least 120 years old, passed down through the generations to my cousin Jon, originally from Shreveport, LA. He got it from his 90 year old mom Marjorie, and she in turn got it from her grandmother Ellen. Marjorie says that Ellen used to soak the raisins in the bourbon to prevent the alcohol from cooking off during baking. Doubtlessly this sort of resourcefulness helped Ellen to live, as she did, to age 105.
|All Other Pecans Finely Chopped|
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|Taking Care with Folding in Egg Whites|
So, have I suggested not being in a hurry when you make this cake? Do let it cool in the pan for at least ½ hour, as it will break apart if unmolded too soon. You can let it sit longer, but don’t wait until it’s cold. We actually transported the hot cake to a potluck in its pan and unmolded it after the main meal. Possible, but not recommended.
Enjoy your Mardi Gras. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
4 cups pecan meats
2 cups seedless raisins
1 cup sifted flour
4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup bourbon
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6 egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup soft butter
1 ½ cups sugar
6 egg yolks
20 pecan halves (for topping)
whipped cream (optional garnish)
Grease 10-inch tube pan, then line with waxed paper. Grease again, on top of waxed paper.
Finely chop 4 cups pecans. Mix pecans with raisins and 1 cup flour, set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Stir nutmeg into bourbon, set aside.
Sift 2 cups of flour with baking powder and salt, set aside.
With electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff, gradually adding 2/3 cup of sugar, set aside.
Cream butter with electric mixer. Mix with 1½ cups sugar. Beat in egg yolks one at a time, until light and fluffy.
At low mixer speed, alternate adding bourbon and flour mixtures, in two parts each, to butter mixture. Mix well after each addition.
Fold nut mixture into batter.
Fold in beaten egg whites.
Turn into tube pan and decorated with pecan halves.
Bake for about 1¼ hours, or until toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
Cool in pan on wire rack for at least ½ hour.
Remove pan and peel off paper from sides. Gently turn cake onto plate and remove paper from bottom, then invert onto serving platter.