Exploding Pecan Popcorn Cake

Exploding Pecan Popcorn Cake
A cake designed for special occasions, this is a show-stopper that's worth all the effort. Not skimping on anything naughty, expect layers of decadent brownie cake smothered with a pecan ganache. Oh, and let's not forget what's waiting for you once you cut that first slice...
Icon_cookingtime_grey Created with Sketch. 3 hours
Icon_apron_grey Created with Sketch. Hard
Icon_cloche_grey Created with Sketch. Serves 15
Exploding Pecan Popcorn Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 400g dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 400g butter
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 170g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 400g light muscovado sugar
  • 400g golden caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 150g pecans, roughly chopped

For the ganache

To decorate:

How to make

  1. Line and grease two 20cm (7.5cm deep) round cake tins. If you only have one tin, prepare the second lining and set aside to use the same tin twice. Preheat the oven to fan 140°C/conventional 160°C/ gas 3.

  2. Break up the dark chocolate and place into a medium pan. Cut the butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate. Warm through over a low heat until everything is just melted – don’t overheat. Alternatively, melt in the microwave for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

  3. Meanwhile, mix your flours, bicarbonate of soda, both sugars and cocoa powder in a big bowl, breaking any lumps down with your hands. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the buttermilk.

  4. Now, pour both the melted chocolate and egg mixtures into the flour mixture, stirring until you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Finally, add the pecans and stir until evenly distributed.

  5. Divide the mixture evenly between your preprepared tins and bake for 1 hour 25 – a skewer should come out clean when pushed through the centre. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If only using one tin, line again and bake the remaining half of the mix.

  6. When the cakes are cold, cut them horizontally into two, making four layers of cake. If the tops of the cakes are uneven, you might want to level them out with a knife.

  7. Now for the ganache. Break 400g dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour the cream into a pan, add 4 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is just about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool.

  8. Now it’s time to start assembling. Take the two layers of cake which you would like the be the middle layers of your cake, and cut out a circle from the centre of each, leaving the remaining outer ring as roughly two inches thick.

  9. Take your complete bottom layer, and use a spoon to scoop a slight dip in the centre of the layer, with the same diameter as the cut out centres of the two middle layers. Be careful not to scoop too deep, as you don’t want to end up breaking through the layer.

  10. Spreading a layer of ganache between each, assemble the bottom three layers. Fill the middle with your popcorn, squeezing as much in as you can, before spreading the final layer of ganache and placing the top layer on the cake, like a lid.

  11. Finally, pour the rest of the ganache over the cake, letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. When the ganache has set, decorate with the chopped pecans.

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Products used in this recipe

Smooth Pecan Butter

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    £6.50

3 x Pecan Pie Gourmet Popcorn

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    £9.99

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