I don't know why, but I keep seeing all these lovely pear cakes and tarts lately, something I've never attempted to make myself given my limited baking skills (which I must admit have been getting better since the introduction of the Kitchen-aid Mixer). Last week after seeing a beautiful pear tart at one of my favourite cafes, Ut Si, I decided it was time to teach myself how to poach pears. It didn't stop there though as once I'd done the pears I wanted to make them into an upside down cake (and contribute to my expanding pregnant bottom, which as far as I'm concerned, can return to it's normal size after I have my baby. In the mean time, I'm eating for two (or 10)!)
Step 1 - Poached Pears:
4 Firm pears (like Bosc which are in season right now)
4 cups Water
1/3 cup Honey
1/3 cup Sugar
4 inch piece of ginger sliced
1 tsp whole cloves
1 stick of cinnamon broken into two
1 star anise pod, broken into two
1 - Peel and cut your pears in half, scooping out the core.
2 - In a large pot, boil water, sugar and honey. Then add your spices and your pears.
3 - Simmer with the lid on the pot for approx. 20 minutes (until you can easily put a skewer into them).
You can eat them straight away like this but if you want to intensify the flavour, put the pears and the broth into a container and let soak overnight. You can even stop at this point and serve the pears as is with a bit of cream or custard for a nice desert BUT if you're like me and want a even fancier desert/cake then continue with my instructions from here....
Step 2 - Caramel:
180g Brown Sugar
Line and lightly grease 26cm cake tin. Sprinkle brown sugar first and then drizzle melted butter over top. Then position your poached pears as desired.
Step 3 - Cake Mix:
1 1/2 Cups SR flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla essance
1/2 tsp Table Salt
115g Butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups Brown sugar
1/2 cup Milk
1 - With an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and beat for another few minutes. Add two eggs. Then add all other ingredients.
2 - Pour cake batter over pears and put in a moderate (180 degree celcius) oven for 35-45 minutes (until a scewer comes out of the middle of the cake dry).
3 - Once out of the oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes inside the cake tin before running a knife around the edge and flipping your cake onto a plate.
I'm so proud of the result, it looks amazing for a first time cooking experiment and tasted even better! I'd used three different recipes I'd found online and amalgamated them to get this result. It's all pretty basic ingredients, most of which you would have in your pantry so why not give it a go?
I had meant to show you my Easter treat cooking today but unfortunately the gas on my stove top ran out half way through me making it and my hubby isn't around to change over the gas bottle. This means NEXT blog will now be about my Easter treats or to have a look at the rocky road I made last year, go here.