Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup pecan halves
1 recipe Brown-Sugar Brandy Sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift twice.
4. Add fl our mixture to butter mixture, alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with fl our mixture. Fold in chopped pecans.
5. In a medium bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar, mixing well. Add cream, stirring until smooth.
6. Pour brown-sugar mixture into bottom of a 9-inch cake pan. Arrange 1 cup pecan halves in brown-sugar mixture. Spoon prepared batter over pecan halves.
7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of cake pan to loosen cake edges. Immediately turn cake onto a serving dish. Serve with Brown-Sugar Brandy Sauce.