250g butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (255g) cold mashed kumara (400g raw kumara, microwaved, peeled)
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk
75g walnut pieces
½ cup (110g) sugar
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
1 ½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Grease 28cm x 12 cm loaf tin (3½ litres volume), line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm above edges.
2. Beat butter, sugar and syrup in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in kumara. Stir in flour, cinnamon and buttermilk.
3. Spread mixture into pan. Bake cake about 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Reduce oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced) Remove cake from oven and stand 10 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
4. Meanwhile for walnut praline: place walnuts on a baking paper-lined oven tray and toast in 160°C oven for 10 minutes or so. Combine sugar with 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir only until sugar is dissolved, then simmer, without stirring, until a caramel colour, about 5-7 minutes. Add nuts to caramel, swirl to combine then pour onto a baking paper lined baking sheet to cool. Wrap in baking paper and a tea towel and smash into shards. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
5. For the icing: Beat cream cheese and icing sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in maple syrup and cinnamon.
6. Ice loaf on top and all sides with the icing. Sprinkle walnut praline on top. Serve.