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Let's go all the way with the flavor of maple

When I grew up on Log Cabin syrup, I did not know the actual taste of maple syrup. I thought I did, but when my mother and I began buying pure maple syrup after I graduated from college for our two households, it was a real revelation to me when I found out what it tastes like. In later years I was also pleased to discover that maple is not digested in the same way as cane sugar, and it is somewhat less inclined to raise the glucose levels of diabetic patients. That was good news to me six and a half years ago, when I began to contend with high blood sugar.

The other day I was cruising through Internet pages looking for something interesting, and I came across a writer who loves maple, and she devised a cake recipe that looked really good. I mean, her photos are ravishing. But I soon discovered that the basis of her recipe was a cake mix combined with maple syrup.

Amy, from the website Oh Bite It!, devised her recipe with a Duncan Hines spice cake mix. Her major tweaking of the recipe was to use maple syrup instead of water to mix the batter. Well, I had serious problems with that, but if her photos are to be believed, the cake came out all right.

That's okay, I guess--I am hoping that she doesn't have to deal with blood-sugar issues. But I would always make the cake myself. It may be that Amy isn't aware that maple sweetness can be purchased in the form of granulated maple sugar, and it is available all over Tucson. I find it it Sprouts, Whole Foods and even many supermarkets, so there is no need to put maple syrup into a cake mix that already contains sugar.

But how do you get the flavor that Amy was looking for without the cake mix? I believe that it can be done: witness this recipe. Add the maple sugar into the dry ingredients in place of white sugar, leave the light-brown sugar in there and use maple syrup to glaze the cake. If you are feeling decadent--a word that I have come to dislike because it is so overused--you could also create a sweet cream-cheese frosting with maple syrup and use it either to frost the cake, or serve on the side with the slices.


From Cafe Margot


2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons bakers' powdered milk
1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup maple sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup water
1/2 cup ground walnuts, optional, plus maple syrup to glaze the cake

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, flouring the inside if necessary to help the cake separate from the pan when it is cool.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, the spices, powdered milk and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Set them aside.

In your electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the water. Finally fold in the dry ingredients in three parts, after lowering the mixing speed to Fold or the lowest setting.

Transfer the batter to your Bundt pan and bake for 65-70 minutes or until the top does not indent when you touch it with your finger lightly. Remove the cake from the oven and set it on top of the stove to cool.

When the cake has cooled, invert it to a serving platter. Pour maple syrup over the top of the cake to form a glaze it and sprinkle with the walnuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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