Many apologies are due for the delay in this post… My final exams took over and blogging came to a halt.
Nevertheless, I am back and with the freedom summer offers, I have the ambitious aim of developing recipes and writing posts once a fortnight for the next few months; so please definitely stay tuned for that.
If you don’t already follow me, my Instagram feed @ayoungfoodie provides a glimpse into the process of baking/recipe development so if you have Instagram definitely follow me for a more frequent posting experience.
Anyway, enough with the small talk! Today, I present to you one of my most favourite cakes thus far…
It looks deviously complicated and almost as though you cheated and bought it from a French patisserie. Upon completion, observe the envious eyes of friends who cannot believe that you were capable of creating such an aesthetically pleasing cake.
The pear and almond combination is an absolute classic, of course, but what makes this cake really special is the caramelisation of the butter and brown sugar in the bottom of the cake pan which add rich, deep flavours to the whole cake.
The ground almond almonds in the cake batter also make sure that the cake stays super moist, but also makes sure that the juice from the pears doesn’t cause the cake to become soggy.
Otherwise, this cake could also be done as small individual cakes or in a large 27cm springform cake tin like my cake- it’s really up to you!
Before I delve into the recipe I have a few essential tips to ensure perfect results every time:
- Firstly, before you begin, be sure to butter and flour your cake tin REALLY well and, as a precautionary measure, use a circle of parchment paper at the bottom of your cake pan to ensure that the caramelised pears do not stick to the bottom of your pan.
- Try and use the ‘creaming’ method to make your cake batter as mentioned in my recipe. It really makes a world of difference in terms of the texture of your sponge, as opposed to the all-in-one method.
- Finally, you might want to use super ripe pears for the recipe… However, I would advice that you use under-ripe pears that are still not overly soft if you want the pattern to be prominent on the top of your cake.
That’s all from me! Please find the recipe below and do let me know how your cake turns out if you give it a try!
Ingredients (for a 27cm springform cake pan)
- 300g unsalted butter
- 330g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 170g self-raising flour, sifted
- 100g ground almonds
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 large conference pears (Bosc pears also work well and you can adjust the number of pears depending on your pan)
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 27cm springform cake pan with a circle of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan.
- Slice the pears into long, 1cm thick slices, removing the core and leaving on the skin. Sprinkle the light brown sugar at the bottom of the cake pan and place the pear slices on top, as shown in the above picture.
- To make the cake batter: cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly add the beaten egg, gradually beating in all four eggs until the mixture is fluffy and aerated. Add both the vanilla and almond extracts at this point.
- Sift the self-raising flour and fold it through the mixture using a large metal spoon or spatula. Finally, add the ground almonds to the mixture- folding through until the batter is smooth.
- Pour the cake batter on top of the arranged pears and place in the oven to cook for approximately 50-60 minutes. To test if the cake is cooked, insert a toothpick which should come out clean if the cake is cooked.
- Allow the cake to cool (approx 20 minutes) in the pan before flipping onto a cooling rack and serving. It can be served warm or cold and is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.