Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Caramalised Pear & Almond Cake

The finished cake!

Fancy something to warm you up and cheer you up on this boring, rainy day? A while back, I saw the lovely Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall making a delicious looking pear and almond cake on his River Cottage program. I had a bag of cheap British pears (Sainsbury's does a bag of 'Basics' for not very much money) and the dregs of a bag of ground almond leftover from making brownies so I thought I'd give it a go. I modified the recipe slightly form HF-W's original but only slightly. It freezes really well - just wrap in cling-film when cool and then pop in the freezer. Here's my take on it:

Caramalised Pear & Almond Cake
For the cake
150g unsalted butter, softened
125g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
75g self raising flour
75g ground almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the caramalised pears
4 tiddly pears
25g unsalted butter
1tbsp soft dark brown sugar

- Preheat oven to 170C.
- Line a 20cm solid based tin with baking parchment.
- Peel, core and quarter the pears.
- Melt the butter on a gentle heat in a frying pan. Once it's completely melted, add the sugar and stir until it's mostly dissolved (I got little lumps of caramel in mine but this didn't seem to be a problem). Add the fruit to the pan and leave for a few minutes on a medium heat to caramlise turning so that it becomes golden on both sides and nicely soft.
- Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy then beat in one egg at a time (HF-W recommends adding a spoonful of flour with each egg to stop it curdling though I didn't bother).
- Add the flour, almonds and spices and fold into the mixture trying to keep as much air in as possible.
- Put the mixture into the tin and then arrange the pieces of pears on top, scraping any of the buttery sugary juices on top.
- Pop into the oven for 40 - 50 minutes until firm.
- Allow the cake to cool a little and then lift the cake out by the parchment.

Find the original recipe here and a film of HF-W in action.

I'm about to have a slice with a cup of Lahloo Breakfast tea - I've been lucky enough to be picked for their Tovolo Challenge so I'm ditching tea bags and am giving loose tea a try! I'll report back on my findings...


Anonymous said...

Sounds good ill try it Tomoro

Anonymous said...

Good with yoghurt.awesome.

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