Sunday 14 April 2013

Crystallised Ginger Pear Cake

I'm never quite sure about pears. I do really like them, but it depends on my mood as to whether I want a lusciously ripe and dripping Williams pear or a hard crunchy Conference, preferably cold from the fridge. So I bought pears and then decided that I didn't really want them at all. And we all know that pears usually go from rock-hard to soft-and-squishy in the blink of an eye so I decided that I ought to use these ones up. One found a home in this rather good cake.

Pear and ginger are a good combination of flavours and I love the fudgy toffee-ish depth of flavour that light muscovado sugar brings. Pear has a fairly subtle flavour sometimes and I didn't want to overwhelm it in the actual cake, so I left my ginger just for the top of the cake rather than the batter itself.

Crystallised Ginger Pear Cake
120g butter, softened
120g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
160g self raising flour
1 medium sized ripe but firm pear, chopped (mine was a green Williams)
35g crystallised stem ginger, chopped very small

- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease and base line a 7"/18cm round cake tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, eggs and flour and beat until combined. The mixture will be very stiff.
- Add the chopped pear (my pieces were about 1cm cubes, or slightly smaller) and mix to combine.
- Spoon into the cake tin and level as best you can (again, the mixture is stiff).
- Scatter over the finely chopped ginger.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes (I can't quite remember how long this took now) until risen and golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack

This was really successful. The cake was soft and moist and because the pear was still relatively underripe when I used it, it hadn't turned to mush whilst baking and retained a bite in the cake, making for a nice contrast of taste and texture. The ginger on the top worked well too, providing a crunch and a little hit of heat. A success.


Katie said...

Pear and ginger is a lovely combination. Like that it was chunks of ginger, rather than spice. I personally like crisp and crunchy pears for eating.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Pear and ginger is so lovely! I know what you mean about pears too. I like them but I hardly ever buy them in case I miss the perfect point to eat them.

Suelle said...

Great flavour combination. Like others, I'd eat more pears if it was possible to catch them at the right point. I ought to cook with them more, but hubs doesn't really like them.

Anonymous said...

Lovely simple cake with a winning combination of flavours - I also love recipes that use just one of a fruit, as it's far more likely that I will have one sad looking pear or apple or banana than a whole bowl of them!

Lucy said...

I love pears but really don't use them enough in baking, so this has definitely inspired me! Pairing them with toffee sounds absolutely delicious.

The Caked Crusader said...

Oh my that looks good - I love any baking with pears. What a homely looking cake - impossible to stop at one slice, I bet!


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