Monday, 30 March 2009

Incredibly awesome ginger-pear cake

I made this cake purely out of necessity. It has been a while since I last baked a cake and I had to use the small pears that were going too ripe in the crisper compartment of my fridge so I made something to satisfy the two criteria. I mentioned in several posts back about my cravings for caramel. Although this cake doesn't feature caramel per se, the treacle in the gingerbread contributes caramel notes that linger with the sweet perfume of pear and the warm spiciness of cinammon and ginger making this cake so rib-stickingly good!

This cake is simple to make and assemble. If like me, you don't forget to place the pears cut side down in the pan before adding the cake batter, you will be rewarded with a rather attractive old-fashion upside-down cake that I didn't.

I adapted the steamed gingerbread pudding recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, Tartine by Elisabeth M Prueitt and Chad Robertson. Although I have not tried the original recipe prior to baking this cake, I made a few alterations and found the results very agreeable. If you are looking for a sponge-textured cake, then this is NOT the cake you are after. Because of the liquid content, this recipe yields a hefty, moist and firm cake - delicious at room temperature but incredibly awesome eaten warm with a generous helping of cold creme anglaise (pouring custard) or a dollop of thick cream.

ginger pear cake
225g flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinammon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground clove
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
60ml sour cream
140ml milk
2 large eggs
150g sugar
150ml sunflower oil
235g treacle
4 pears, cored and quartered
(makes an 8-inch round cake - serves 8 generously)
sift dry ingredients and place aside
preheat oven to 180C and line the bottom and sides of a springform tin with baking paper
scatter 2 tablespoon brown sugar and dot 30g butter over the base of the baking tin
arrange pear in a decorative fashion, cut side down
beat wet ingredients at low speed for a minute then at high speed for another
add dry ingredients to the wet mixture
mix at low speed until moistened
switch to high speed and mix until perfectly smooth
pour the batter over the pears
bake for 45 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 160C and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the cake is ready.
allow cake to stand for 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven before inverting and unmoulding unto a plate.

No comments: