Sunday, 29 April 2007

Pear and Spice Cake




I found myself with a bowl of these blushing beauties that I simply could not let go to waste and a girl can only eat so many poached pears. So I decided to make a spicy little cake that will also be my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. This little cake gives the appearance of hours slaving away in the kitchen when it can be ready for the oven in mere minutes. It is a one bowl wonder that requires minimal culinary skill. Just a little measuring and mixing followed by a little peeling and slicing. Pour the batter into a tin, arrange the sliced pears, sprinkle over a little sugar and you're ready to bake.




This one was a present for a dear friend who has been nothing short of wonderful over the past few weeks so I spent a little longer carefully arranging the fruit. For a quick morning tea treat you need not go to the effort. Simply pile it on and consider it to have the rustic look.





Pear and Spice Cake

3/4 cups almond meal
1/2 cup polenta (you could make this up with extra almond meal and flour but it adds a lovely texture)
1/2 cup plain flour
pinch of baking powder
pinch of salt
8 tsbp softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup greek yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp mixed spice
2-3 pears peeled, cored and sliced
extra sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle over

Preheat oven to 160 C/325F.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until thick and pale. Add in two eggs, one at a time and mix well. Add in the vanilla and yogurt then mix through the spices.

Add in the polenta, salt, baking powder, flour and almond meal and stir through. Pour into a greased and lined springform tin. A small one will give you a thicker cake but I prefer a thin one so went with a 25cm tin.

Layer over the pear slices and top with the sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 40-50 minutes and test with a skewer to make sure it is cooked through. Dust with icing sugar and serve with pouring cream or vanilla ice cream.

From this...


To this...


25 comments:

Cindy said...

Looks great, and definitely my kind of no-nonsense recipe! I stupidly did the exact opposite on the weekend, spending hours (and multiple bowls and saucepans!) making some pleasant but ordinary-looking muffins. :P

Deborah Dowd said...

You have performed a miracle! This pear and spice cake looks so good I can almost smell it! Could I have a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side?!

Little Foodie said...

This looks beautiful and I will def give it a try. What's almond meal? Amanda

Truffle said...

Thanks Cindy. I'm sure your muffins were lovely. I was thinking of making some myself so will have to check out your post.

Of course Deborah! Thanks so much for reading.

Thanks Amanda. Almond meal is just ground almonds. You can make your own in a food processor or buy it at most supermarkets or health food stores. It looks a little like breadcrumbs. You can always substitute flour but almond meal gives the cake a lovely moist texture and great crumb.

Kalyn said...

What a lovely cake. I love how you showed the "before and after" of the pears.

Little Foodie said...

Ah - we just call it ground almonds but almond meal makes sense. Delicious either way I'm sure. Thanks

Patricia Scarpin said...

Truffle, this is some serious work of art, dear!
I love pears and I love baking with them.

Truffle said...

Thanks Kalyn and thanks for hosting such a brilliant event.

You're welcome Amanda. We call it by both names here. I love the texture it gives to baked goodies.

Mel. said...

That looks absolutely divine. I may have to make a trip to the markets to buy some pears...

Lucy said...

Oh, yum. Aren't the pears just beautiful at the moment?

Lucky friend!

Truffle said...

Thank you so much Patricia. This was one of my first attempts baking with pears and I loved it!

Thanks Mel. Definitely buy some because they're just gorgeous right now!

Lucy, I think they're just perfect at the moment and lovely to cook with.

Freya and Paul said...

I could just dive into the picture and grab a slice - but I reckon I'd hit my head. It would be worth it though!

Rose said...

I just love the patern of your pears and the spices. This is the work of a professional. Really beautiful Truffle

Truffle said...

Freya and Paul- Thanks so much for the lovely comments!

Oh thank you Rose. That's very kind.

Ulrike said...

That looks great. I just bookmarked the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Truffle said...

Thanks for reading Ulrike. Hope you enjoy!

valentina said...

Truffle, this is my first visit to your lovely blog. I will be coming back as you have a really lovely and cosy kitchen, How beautiful is this cake! It does look like something that requires a lot of work.Fabulous!

Sarah said...

Add in the vanilla and yogurt then mix through the spices.

Er... what yogurt? There's none listed in the ingredients - is it optional?

It looks a great recipe though - I'll give it a go when the pears come into season.

Truffle said...

Valentina- Thanks for your kind words. Thankfully it's far easier to make than it looks!

Sarah- all fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out! The yogurt is optional but does create a much moister cake.

Lucy said...

Made it. Loved it. Blogged it! (sorry, not tech-savvy enough to create a link...)

Truffle said...

I'm so glad you liked it Lucy. Yours looks beautiful!

Helen said...

Gorgeous cake! I love the combination of spices. This would be perfect with an afternoon cup of tea.

Truffle said...

Thanks so much Helen. I agree completely!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh wow this looks so tasty!

Truffle said...

Thanks eatme! :)