• Cooking oil spray, to grease
• 3 free-range eggs
• 2 cups brown sugar
• 3 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 cups self-raising flour
• 11⁄4 cups cocoa powder
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1.5 cups milk
• 150g unsalted butter, chopped
• 3 cups icing sugar mixture
• 100ml evaporated milk
• 2 cups pecans, toasted, chopped
• Hot chocolate powder, to garnish
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease three 20cm round cake tins with oil and line base and sides with baking paper. Mix eggs, brown sugar and 1⁄2 of the vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat, using whisk attachment, for 5 minutes or until light (see Cook’s tips, opposite). In a large bowl, sift flour, 3⁄4 cup of the cocoa and spices. In another bowl, whisk mayonnaise and milk.
Fold flour and mayonnaise mixtures into egg mixture in alternate spoonfuls, mixing gently until smooth. Divide mixture between tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto wire rack.
To make icing, put butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high, using paddle attachment, for 5 minutes or until light. Sift in remaining cocoa and beat again, then fold in evaporated milk and remaining vanilla until smooth.
Spread each cake with 1⁄3 of the icing, then sprinkle with pecans. Stack cakes (see Cook’s tips, opposite) on platter, dust with chocolate powder and serve.