Maple and Pecan Biscotti

 I don’t know about you but I love the combination of maple syrup and pecan nuts. They are a perfect match. Recently, however, I was asked to make a Bon Voyage cake for a young man emigrating to Canada. The brief was very specific; they wanted a maple syrup cake with maple syrup buttercream and decorated with the Canadian flag but in Chelsea Blue!

I tried several recipes to achieve the perfect maple syrup cake but I really struggled to find the right balance or flavour and sweetness. To get the maple flavour I needed to add more syrup but then that made it too sweet! Arrgh!!

My best friend, however, was an absolute life saver!

I had better explain about me and Su. Su was my mentor 12 years ago when I first started teaching Science in a very difficult comprehensive school in deepest, darkest Liverpool. She kept me on the straight and narrow in those early years and calmed me down when some little runt kicked off because I foolishly expected him to sit down! Su has children my age, early 40s but unfortunately one lives in Australia and the other lives in Colorado. Needless to say I am not only her best friend but a substitute daughter.

It was the result of her last trip to Colorado that Su saved my cake!  Whilst I was sharing my maple cake woes, Su suddenly jumped up, ran into the kitchen then produced a little bottle of maple flavouring. Apparently it came back to the UK in Su’s hand luggage but since she didn’t know what to do with it I might as well have it. The resulting cake was a huge success and it is this flavouring that I have used in this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

12 oz plain flour

2tsp baking powder

0.5 tsp maple flavouring

9 oz caster sugar

3-4 free range eggs, beaten

6 oz chopped pecan nuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 160C fan.
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment
  3. Place the flour, sugar & baking powder in a mixing bowl then a stir in the eggs and maple flavouring until a soft dough forms.
  4. Add the nuts
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and split the dough into 4 equal pieces.
  6. Lightly flour your hands then roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape approximately 12 inch long.
  7. Place the dough onto the prepared trays, making sure they are well spaced.
  8. Bake for 15-25 mins until the dough is well risen, firm to the touch but not too brown.
  9. Allow to cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 140C / 120C fan
  11. Cut the dough diagonally, using a bread knife, into 1cm thick slices.
  12. Place the slices back onto the baking sheets, cut side down, and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  13. Turn the slices over and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.
  14. Allow to cool completely.
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