Hooray! I decided to be inventive and it wasn’t a desperate failure.
I’d entered the ‘I want to make something and I don’t know what’ phase again, but then I had thought. I’d got almost a whole bottle of maple syrup left over from Shrove Tuesday (because maple syrup and bacon is the best thing to have on pancakes and I’ll cut anyone who says otherwise) and no real means of using it up.
So I made a basic sponge, and added a bit of maple syrup to the mix, just for ease of spreading in the tins, really. Then for the icing I made a buttercream and thinned it out with maple syrup. So yes, that’s butter, sugar, and then liquid tree-sugar basically. I ended up with so much icing that I managed to do a middle layer, and a crumb coat, and then fully ice it, sides included. I was only aiming for enough to keep the pecans on top.
Of course, I salted the cake batter and the icing, which was definitely a good thing. The salt, along with the slight smokiness in maple syrup means that it’s not too cloyingly sweet. Which is not to say that I can’t feel my arteries slamming shut after eating a piece, or that the sugar rush I’m feeling right now isn’t making me dizzy, or that I’m not fairly sure that I’m seeing unicorns. Because I can and it is and I am. Just that it doesn’t TASTE too sweet.
It looks like this:
I’m pretty pleased with it, to be honest. It’s not the wildest creation ever, but it’s something that I did without a recipe and it worked. I work without recipes all the time for savoury cooking, making sauces and what have you, but experimenting with baking is still pretty new. It gives me confidence to try more inventive stuff in future.