Banana Pecan Cake with Maple Glaze

- 80g (3/4 cup) pecans, toasted and roughly chopped (see note 1)
- 280g (2 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour (I used the French T65)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 60g (1/4 cup) salted butter, softened (see note 2)
- 80g (3 level tablespoons) whole almond butter (unsalted and made from whole, unblanched almonds)
- 100g (1/2 cup) raw cane sugar
- 40g (2 tablespoons) agave syrup (substitute cane syrup, maple syrup, or honey)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon amber rum
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 4 ripe bananas, about 600g (1⅓ pounds) with skin
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and grease a 24-cm (9½-inch) savarin/ring mold, a loaf pan, or a simple 20-cm (8-inch) round cake pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the pecans, flour, and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, mix the butter and almond butter until creamy. Add the sugar, syrup, vanilla, and rum, and mix until fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
Peel the bananas, dice them, and mash roughly with a fork. Fold the bananas into the batter.
Add the dry ingredients to the batter and use a spatula to combine, gently lifting the batter and folding it over itself until no trace of flour remains; don't overmix. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the pan rest on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the cake (center and rim if you've used a savarin mold) to loosen, then turn out on the rack to cool (the pan will still be hot, obviously, so wear oven mitts).
Let cool for 30-40 minutes before glazing (see below), and serve slightly warm, or at room temperature.
Note 1: When I need to toast nuts for this sort of cake recipe, I spread the nuts in a baking dish and place the dish in the oven when it's almost preheated, and check it after 5 minutes, or as soon as I start to smell the nuts.
Note 2: I use French salted butter, which is salted with sea salt and works well in baking. If you have issues with the salted butter available where you live, use 60g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter + 1g (1/4 tsp) sea salt.
Maple Glaze
- 50g (6 level tablespoons) confectioner's sugar
- 40g (2 tablespoons) grade B maple syrup
Sift the sugar into a small bow, pour in the maple syrup, and whisk vigorously with a fork until smooth. Spoon over the cake and spread with the back of the spoon or, if you insist, with an icing spatula.
Note: This makes enough to coat the top of the cake above thinly. If you prefer a more generous layer of icing, double the recipe.
Adapted from Marianne Magnier-Moreno's La Pātisserie.