I have recently been helping a friend out working out some new recipes for her café. This is my version of a pear cake, and believe me - you will fall in love with it.
It has the deep flavours of late blooming roses and autumnal pears mixed in amongst the girly heaven of chocolate.
Ingredients.Pears (poaching ingredients)
2 large pears (This does not work with tinned pears, leave this recipe for autumn when fresh pears are at there best)
Water to cover
2 vanilla pods halved
Rose extractCake Batter
200g butter (softened)
100g caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
200g sieved self raising flour
Chocolate extractCake drizzle
Chocolate extract (this is a liquid that you should be able to find in good cookery shops)
Turn on Oven to a good medium heat. 160 - 180Poaching pears
Peel your pears but leave the caps and tails on.
Place in a pan with water to cover, add sugar, vanilla pods and 1/2 teaspoon of Rose extract.
Bring to the boil then let simmer for up to 20 minutes. You want your pears soft but not falling apart - texture should be that of a soft boiled potato. Cake batter
Whilst the pears are simmering, take your butter and sugars and mix well, I always prefer a good electric beater for this bit.
Add the eggs one at a time, fully blending each one into the batter. If it curdles add a teaspoon of flour and continue.
When all eggs are in, add 2 teaspoons of chocolate extract Remove the beaters from your existence !!!! This is a must - please never use an electric blender when mixing in flour for a cake, you will take the rise out of it.
Take your flour and sieve it all into the bowl. Using a metal spoon or a cake spatula, fold the flour in gently until it is all blended.
Pour the cake batter into a good sized loaf tin (I love using the silicone ones but if you use a metal one you will need to line it)
Take your pears out of the pan, and lay onto a chopping board to cool a little.
Slice each one in half and then using a spoon, core out the hard centre. Chop off the head and tail.
Push the pears into the cake batter like so. (I use the 4th half by chopping it in half and pushing the bottom into one end and the top into the other)
Now into the oven with you
THis cake will take a good 40 minutes to cook as the moistness from the pears allows it to cook slightly slower than an ordinary sponge. To avoid it burning, about two 3rds of the way through when the top has risen and you have a good crust, take a piece of baking paper - run it under the tap, then place it over the crust - then back in the oven.
Use a prick test to tell when your cake is ready.
Leave in the tin to cool
As it is cooling, make a runny icing sugar / water syrup adding half teaspoon of chocolate extract. Pour this over the cake as it cools for a nice crust to your cake.
After 20 minutes you should be able to remove it without breaking the cake. Serve warm or cold and fall in love x