I wanted to make this cake in order to provide an impressive Thanksgiving alternative to pie for those who like cake better. But when I was studying the recipe before making it, I found a really disturbing fact: This cake contains 750 calories (52% from fat), 44 g of fat (26.5 saturated) 175 mg cholesterol, 83 g of carbohydrates, 59 g sugar and on the good side 2 g of fiber and 7.7 g of protein per slice. Who in good conscience could eat this or serve it? I was trying to get an idea of what this compares to. Was I being naive, do all great desserts have that much junk in them? A small Reese's Peanut Butter Cup blizzard (and who eats a small?) is 600. And a piece of red velvet Cheesecake Factory cheesecake is 817. So apparently it's not the worst thing you could eat, but still I couldn't do it - I made half a cake. Instead of four layers, my cake has two layers and half the frosting.
Here's the Hub putting the batter together while I got the pans ready.
This cake uses one teaspoon of Chinese five-spice powder (my half cake only had 1/2 teaspoon) for seasoning. Chinese five-spice contains cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves, ginger, licorice, szechuan peppercorn and white pepper. Hmm is it me or was anyone else thinking this really should be called Chinese eight-spice? It's an interesting combination in a cake, but for those who don't like star anise, not to mention licorice, even 1/2 teaspoon is too much. The frosting is excellent with its hint of orange. I used fresh orange zest and toasted pecans instead of walnuts.