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Ingredients:
For the base
350g pecans
390g unrefined caster sugar
8 free-range medium eggs,
separated
2 tbsp brown or white rice flour

For the icing
2 free-range egg yolks
3 tbsp unrefined caster sugar
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
sieved
500g mascarpone
20g grated dark chocolate
(at least 70% cocoa solids)

For the pecan topping
10g unsalted butter
50g pecans, toasted
2 tbsp honey

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Mocha Pecan Cake

SERVES: 10

This cake looks and tastes like a mocha coffee: a frothy cappuccino top with the added bonus of a gentle meringue crunch around the edges. Don’t panic if the edges start to crumble a little, that’s normal!

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3. Grease and line 2 27cm cake tins with baking parchment.

To make the base, blitz the pecans in a blender or food processor until you have very fine crumbs. Remove and set aside. Whisk 210g of the sugar with the egg yolks in a bowl, until just combined, then mix in the flour and ground pecans.

Use a stand mixer or electric handheld mixer to whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks. With the mixer set at a fast speed, add the remaining sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Fold in the pecan mixture along with 1 third of the whites – the mixture will seem a little dry, but keep folding until everything is combined. Fold in the remaining whites, a third at a time, taking care not to overmix the mixture. Carefully divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake on separate shelves for about 30 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out fairly clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.

Turn out of the tins only when cooled. Meanwhile, make the icing. In a stand mixer or using an electric handheld mixer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until very pale and creamy, this should take about 10 minutes. Add the coffee granules and mascarpone and whisk until just combined. Divide the icing between the 2 halves, spreading it with the back of a spoon to smooth and sprinkle with grated chocolate. Carefully sit 1 half over the other.

For the finishing touch, melt the butter in small frying pan over a medium heat. Once melted, add the pecans and honey. Stir well, then remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Drip the pecan and honey mixture over the cake to decorate it. It keeps well for 2 days in the fridge.