June 8, 2006

Pear + Walnut spice cake

Packham Pears have been piling up on the fresh fruit isles lately. It's been a favourite in the household since they came out in season about a month ago. We usually eat our pears fresh; when they are ripe, sweet and a buttery-melt-in-your-mouth texture. The several pears I purchased from the supermarket this week were fairly crunchy and are still not quite ripe. This afternoon, I decided to use the opportunity to bake them in a cake before they ripen; and all get eaten! Cakes with spices and fruits are a somewhat new territory for me. So far, the only experience I've had with baking fruit and vegetables in cake would be apple, pineapple, cherries and carrot; those are pretty common I suppose. As today's pear cake was something different, I had to follow the recipe of the cake to the dot. However, the naughty and rebellious side of me refused to let me stick to what was written in the recipe.(as expected! haha), it made me top it off with a honey and cinnamon cream cheese frosting;.... just for fun! *cheeky-grin*
On its own; the cake was delicious! It had a tantalizing spice flavour with pieces of sweet pear in each bite! I loved everything about this cake! The way it looked, tasted and smelt! The aroma was extremely
fragrant and tempting even when it was still in the oven! It's definitely worth a try if you like pears the way we do. My mischievous layer of frosting was a good added idea, the creamy cheese helped accentuate the great flavours of the pear and spices from the cake!
150g butter softened
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/12 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup pear juice (I couldn't find pear juice...so I used a bottle of something with pear in it)*shrug*
2 large packham pears diced roughly
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sultanas
2 tsp ground mixed spice
2 tbsp honey and some extra to serve
Cream butter and sugar in a medium bowl till light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift all dry ingredients and gently fold into butter mixture alternately with pear juice. Stir in walnuts+sultanas+pears until well combined. Spoon mixture into greased 9inch round springform pan/ or equivalent and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake in 170 degree oven for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean.
Remove from oven and brush honey over the top of the cake. Frost if you wish. If you don't, serve hot with an extra drizzle of honey! Dig in!

100g cream cheese

1tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnanmon
Beat till smooth and fluffy. Spread onto cake only after the center has completely cooled.

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