I’m liking pears at the moment. I don’t know why, but pears have a groove that I’m in tune with. My inner break dancer is spinning on its head to the beat of the pear. And also I’m making up terrible, terrible metaphors. Somebody please stop me. Anyway, I had some pear cider the other day. It’s good – you should have some. Mac’s Issac Pear Cider. I think. Unless of course, you go to the supermarket and such a product does not exist, then I certainly didn’t give you that name at all and stop imagining things, okay? So I figured, lets continue with the pear theme. It worked last time, with the alcohol. Except that it gave you a headache, but that’s mostly because you’re a light weight. Oh my god. Enough rambling!
I made a spiced pear cake with homemade caramel sauce. There, I said it. You actually know what this post is about, rather than some vague ramblings about pears and headaches. Why did I make this? Why yes, I had a specific purpose and wasn’t just feeling the urge to trash the kitchen. The parental units and I were going to my godparents for dinner, as their son has recently returned from Korea. I was volunteered to make dessert. Which is fine, you may have guessed that I like doing such things.
I would like to make a disclaimer, so that certain friends and fellow bakers don’t kill me, use freshly ground cardamom and nutmeg if you can. Don’t be lazy like I was.
Spiced Pear Cake
4 medium pears, peeled and diced
¼ c sugar
1/8 c water
Juice of half a lemon
125 g butter
½ c white sugar
½ c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ c sour cream
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ c flour
1. Attack the pears. Or alternatively, peel and dice them.
2. Biff them in a pot with the lemon juice, sugar and water. Give them a quick stir and then pop the lid of the pot on and cook them down on a medium heat for about twenty minutes, or until they are soft to touch.
3.Take them off the heat and cool. While that’s happening, make the cake mix!
4. It starts out pretty typically; cream the butter and the two sugars together until they are light and fluffy. My mixer never does this particularly well as the bell whisk doesn’t reach don far enough into the bowl.
5. Add the vanilla and crack in the eggs one at a time. Once things are all combined, set a timer for four minutes and let them beat on a medium speed. They’ll end up all.... fluffy like. Sort of. You’ll definitely notice a difference in texture.
6. Mix in the sour cream, which will make the butter, sugar and egg mix a bit smoother and runnier, which is useful ‘cos next comes the dry stuff.
7. I kinda gave this step away; add the dry stuff in (spices, leavening agents, flour) and mix until just combined.
8. Now return to your somewhat cooled pear ... stuff and blend the hell out of it! It should end up like a thick saucy like thing.
9. Dump the pear stuff into the cake mixture and mix it through briefly. No over mixing!
10. Into a pan – I used a bundt pan – and into the oven on 160 degrees Celsius. It’s ready when you stab with a skewer and it comes out clean. The cake is dense-ish though, because of the fruit in there, so it will have a moist crumb.
1 c brown sugar
½ c butter
¼ c evaporated milk
1. Dump it all into a small saucepan!
2. Slowly heat it up to a rolling boil, and once it is there, let it boil for two minutes. You have to stay stirring the whole time, otherwise it’ll stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. And nobody ever wants to smell burnt sugar. Ew.
3. Tada! Done. Pour it into a jug and then over the cake. You can make this quite a while in advance and just warm it up in the microwave for 20 seconds before serving – it needs to be warm so that it pours easily.