Now is this a ginormous chocolate monstrosity or what? I took these pics with my phone, so excuse the quality, although I’m not sure my fancy camera would have done any better with this chocolate blob. I was super excited about this Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate Pecan Filling. It combines the best of three worlds in holiday baking: pumpkin, pecans, and chocolate. Getting it to look as good as the Food Network’s version proved to be quite the unachievable feat.
So, how’s it taste?
I’m kind of mixed on this one. It was tasty, but I really wish I had used traditional pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves) instead of the spices from the original recipe. I’ve discovered I’m not a fan of cardamom. It tastes like perfume smells and it takes over everything. The first slice of this cake fresh was really good, but the older it got, the stronger the cardamom. That’s a real shame because the pumpkin cake with a very faint hint of orange and all that chocolate and pecans would have been magical!
Another strike against this cake is the time it takes to make it. So. Many. Steps. I had plans of making this the night before Thanksgiving, but my normal 45-minute drive to my mom’s turned into a 2 1/2 hour drive and I was all kinds of cranky when I finally arrived. I did manage to bake the cakes the night before though. The filling is the problem child. As you can see, mine isn’t any where close to being as firm as in the original picture. The filling calls for ONE QUART of heavy cream. I’m not sure if that’s a typo or what. Other reviewers complained of this, too. I let that filling cook and cook and cook and it just wouldn’t get any thicker. However, it was delicious! The glaze is pretty spectacular, too. Look how thick it is! As if all that oozing chocolate pecan isn’t enough, the entire cake gets topped with this ridiculous amount of glaze. This filling and that glaze on a yellow cake and oh em gee!
All in all not a bad cake. Just too many steps, too runny of filling, and too much cardamom. I like the concept though and it could easily be modified for one stellar four layer cake.
Yield: 10-12 servings
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate Pecan Filling
Unsalted butter, for the pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 quart heavy cream
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tsp. honey