Maple-Pecan Torte (With Bourbon)

READY IN: 4hrs 40mins




  • heat oven to 350°F.
  • Spread chopped pecans on large baking sheet.
  • Toast in oven, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove nuts from oven; set aside to cool.
  • Maintain oven at 350°F.
  • Lightly butter and flour 2 straight-sided 10 inch round cake pans.
  • Line bottoms with ungreased kitchen parchment or waxed paper.
  • On medium speed, beat 1 cup butter in large bowl until fluffy.
  • Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar.
  • Continue to beat until very fluffy.
  • Increase speed to high.
  • Pour in 1 cup of the maple syrup in thin stream, beating all the while.
  • Beat egg yolks into the butter mixture, one at a time, beating and scraping sides of bowl with rubber spatula after each addition.
  • Beat in orange zest, maple flavoring and vanilla.
  • Sift cake flour, baking powder and soda onto waxed paper or bowl.
  • Sift together one more time; set aside.
  • Beat egg whites and salt in large grease-free bowl with clean beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • Increase speed to high and beat until stiff but not dry.
  • Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, fold it and egg whites alternately in butter mixture, sifting the flour over the butter mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time and then folding it into mixture.
  • The flour will take 5 additions.
  • The egg whites 4 additions.
  • Fold gently--Do not over mix.
  • Pour batter in prepared cake pans and smooth surface with gently with rubber spatula.
  • Bake in center of oven 25 to 30 minutes or until inserted wooden pick comes out clean.
  • Remove pans from oven. Let layers cool in pans on wire rack 8 minutes.
  • Unmold layers onto wire racks, let cool completley.
  • Place layers in plastic wrap on baking sheets in freezer until semi frozen, about 45 minutes.
  • While cake is in freezer make Maple Buttercream:
  • Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup maple sugar in a heavy saucepan.
  • Add orange slice and bourbon.
  • Heat, stirring constantly over medium-high heat to boiling.
  • Boil gently 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat. Discard orange slice.
  • You should have about 1/3 cup of syrup.
  • Trim brown crusts from top and bottom of each semi-frozen cake layer; discard trimmings.
  • Cut each layer horizontally in half with long serrated knife.
  • Brush sides of layers with syrup.
  • Sprinkle remaining syrup over surface of each layer.
  • Place one layer, syrup side up on plate.
  • Spread with Buttercream.
  • Stack second layer on top with syrup side up.
  • Spread with Buttercream.
  • Repeat with next 2 layers--do not put Buttercream on top of last layer.
  • Place a baking sheet on top of cake.
  • Place a one 1-pound weight (can of fruit or a bag of rice) on top of baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate 15 minutes to compress layers.
  • Remove cake from refrigerator. Remove weight. Remove baking sheet.
  • Spread remaining Buttercream over top and sides of cake.
  • Press toasted pecans evenly over sides of cake.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Maple Buttercream:
  • Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy; reserve.
  • Heat maple syrup in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat to boiling.
  • Cook without stirring until syrup reaches firm ball stage or candy thermometer reaches 244°F (31 to 32 minutes), watching to see syrup doesn't boil over.
  • You should have about 1 cup.
  • When syrup reaches soft ball stage (238 degrees to 240 degrees or 22 minutes), begin beating egg whites with salt in large grease-free bowl with clean beaters on medium speed until stiff but not dry (7 to 8 minutes.
  • Continue to beat.
  • Add hot syrup in thin streams, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula once or twice.
  • Continue to beat mixture until it has reached room temperature and no longer feels warm (10 to 15 minutes).
  • Increase speed to high.
  • Beat in one fourth of the reserved butter about 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Then beat in remaining butter by tablespoons.
  • Scrape down sides.
  • Beat in bourbon and vanilla.