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You will need a deep, round, 20cm/8 inch cake tin. Lightly grease the cake tin and line the base with a circle of nonstick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to fan 160C/325F/ gas mark 3. Put all the ingredients for the cake except the pecan nuts into a large mixing bowl and mix well until evenly blended; an electric mixer is best for this but, of course, you can also beat by hand with a wooden spoon. Stir in the chopped pecan nuts.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface. Bake for 1-11⁄2 hours, until well risen, golden and springy to the touch. Allow to cool slightly, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool completely.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape and then fold in the maple syrup.
Split the cake horizontally into three and fill and cover with the cream, using a small palette knife to smooth it evenly over the top and sides. Decorate the top with the shredded orange zest. Store in the refrigerator.