Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Ginger pear cake


I have once again proved to myself that my willpower is non-existent, at least when it comes to the buying of new cookery books, and in this case more specifically, baking books. Yes, the new Primrose Bakery Book jumped into my basket as I walked around the supermarket a few days ago. I did have a quick flick through it though first, to make sure there were recipes in there that I wanted to make. There were.

When I got home I started looking through properly and deciding what to make first. A very tough decision because, as with their last book on cupcakes, there are so many things in there I wanted to make. However, with all of the beautiful autumn fruit around at the moment I couldn't help but see the ginger pear cake calling out to me from the page.

It took quite a while to pull together - there's a creamed butter and sugar mixture to be spread onto the base of the tin, then the pears to peel, slice and arrange and then the cake to make, with lots of different ingredients, but none of it was difficult (apart from trying to find all of my spices! I have a sneaking suspicion that my ground cloves are well out of date, but never mind).


As the book has only just been released I can't find any mention of this recipe on the internet and I followed it quite closely so don't feel it is right to reproduce it. For my own memory and notes I used 2/3 of the topping ingredients and two pears and then changed the spice mix a little. I ended up using 2tsp ground cinnamon, 2tsp ground ginger, about 1/4tsp ground cloves and probably about 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (but I got bored grating it!!!).

I used my springform tin and because I know this tin has leaked in the past, wrapped it in some tin foil before putting it in the oven. I'm very, very glad I did, because most of my sticky topping appeared to be trying to escape from the tin when I took it out of the oven. Sticky is an understatement too, I'm so glad I caught it in the tin foil!


Really weirdly, when I cut into the cake I found that there were some very odd tunnels in it. I'm wondering if this is an effect caused by the sugar/butter combination in the base of the tin somehow traveling up through the cake mixture - any other ideas?


Really good cake though - nice subtle pear flavour in the topping, combined with the stickiness of the caramel type layer and then the soft cake underneath, all interspersed with delicious bits of chopped ginger - you can just see one in the picture above.


I think this is a perfect autumn cake, and would also make a perfect autumn dessert - just serve with plenty of delicious hot custard. And because this is so perfectly autumnal I am submitting it to the lovely Kate of What Kate Baked for her autumnal baking challenge.

12 comments:

Suelle said...

Despite the tunnels, it looks a delicious cake - good crumb and a lovely colour! Pity you lost a lot of the sticky topping - I don't know what the answer to that is. If you put the foil inside the tin the whole thing might stick.

When things go wrong, I turn to Baking911.com. It says tunnelling is caused by one of these things:
Oven temperature too high. Undermixing or extreme overmixing (too much gluten)
Too much leavening

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

ginger and pear sounds like a divine combo... and the cake looks wonderful too, despite the tunnelling... perhaps you have a little cake mole?

Sonia said...

That cake looks so good! I wonder if it'll be as good with apple...

Chele said...

Such a professional finish to your cake, wish I had your patience my dear ;0)

Maria♥ said...

I haven't bought any cookbooks in months, might have to remedy that!

This cake looks really delicious.

Maria
x

C said...

Suelle - I had forgotten about baking911, so thanks for the reminder! (I don't think I was guilty of any of those things though, but I'll probably never know for sure). It was a pity to lose so much stickiness, I'm thinking that perhaps that parchment lined foil that Lakeland have started stocking might be useful here...

Dom - thanks! Yes, I think a cake mole was definitely to blame! It was a good cake, in spite of the slightly odd appearance of some slices!

Sonia - thank you! I'm sure it would work well with apple too, possibly with an eating rather than cooking variety.

Chele - thank you for such a lovely comment and making me smile! I'm not sure I am that patient though, although I wish I were!

Maria - this would be a good book to break your abstinence with :-)

Helen said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog : ) Glad it's not just me who can't resist a new cook book!

Choclette said...

I think I'm with you on the perfect autumn cake, it looks delicious, despite the tunnels. I've had those occasionally too and there doesn't seem any obvious rhyme or reason to it. My ground cloves jar is at least a decade old, but still smells strongly of cloves so I carry on using it ;-)

Shu Han said...

that looks and sounds just delicious! not sure about the odd tunnels, but who cares if it tastes fabulous anyway? (: love the ginger.

figjamandlimecordial.com said...

Oh C, that looks soooo lush! I love the gooey second photo!

Suelle said...

C - I've just bought a roll of the parchment lined foil from Lakeland - it's worked very well on square cakes so far, but I'm not sure it would be flexible enough to fit into a round tin. Maybe one of the pre-formed cake tin liners they sell - if they are non-stick?

C said...

Helen - I have zero willpower to resist new cookery books.

Choclette - thanks! Glad to hear I'm not the only one with ancient spices. The trouble with cloves is that you only need about 1/4 tsp for each recipe so they last forever!

Shu Han - thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, I don't really care what it looks like so long as it's delicous!

Celia - thank you. Mmm, goo!

Suelle - thanks for getting back to me about the foil lined parchement. Perhaps it's not the solution. I should get some of those liners.

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