Like most households, I suspect, we occasionally have fruit which has been languishing in the fruit bowl for a few too many days, turning a little too soft and gradually spoiling, being passed over for those fresher, shinier more inviting pieces.
Having a couple of pears in this sorry state just last week, it was the perfect excuse to don my pinny and gather the flour and sugar from the cupboard.
It would have been such a shame to dispose of those pears in the food-waste caddy just because they were a little too soft with the skin starting to brown a little. After peeling and coring the pears, it was evident that the fruit was still very much edible. The juicy fruit was diced and the pieces made their way into our Pear, Chocolate and Spice Cake.
As pears work so well with cardamom, ginger and dark chocolate those delicious flavours, perfect for autumn baking, made their way into our pear cake recipe. The slightly spoilt fresh pears were peeled, cored and chopped before being added to the Victoria Sponge batter which had been flavoured with the spices and chocolate! The top of the cake batter was simply finished with even more pears which had been sliced, and once baked was simply glazed with apricot jam and a drizzle of chocolate ganache, which, in our opinion, removed the temptation to finish the cake with a sugar ladened frosting.
Happily the cake, once sliced into, was beautifully studded with the diced pear. A little extra flour in the batter had prevented the fruit from sinking to the bottom of our seasonal cake. The fruit helped to make the bake deliciously moist and brought added texture to the eat. You may have noticed that the centre of the cake cracked a little, caused probably by the addition of the extra flour, and no doubt would have received a frown had Mary seen it, but when a cake tastes as good as this such flaws can surely be overlooked.
Now, as November is World Vegan Month, I have to admit that the intention was to attempt our first ever vegan cake with this pear cake recipe. No butter. No milk. No cream. No eggs. However, my chosen egg replacer, chia seeds, proved to be difficult, near impossible, to grind with a pestle & mortar (not being in possession of a spice or coffee grinder) and so after an hour of pounding those pesky little seeds I cracked and added eggs to the mixture instead!
Time permitting, I'm aiming to revisit the vegan bake idea later in the month, but for the time being here's our Pear, Chocolate and Spice Cake, perfect for autumn baking.
Let's get to it and bake this seasonal Pear, Chocolate and Spice Cake.
sweet & nutritious pears, this delicious recipe for pear cake is
perfect for the chillier autumn months. Finished with sliced pears, a glaze of apricot jam and a little chocolate ganache
removes the temptation to laden it with a sugary frosting.
Prep time: about 35 mins Cook time: 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minsYield: 1 x 21cm cake - producing appox 10 slices
1 x 21cm deep loose bottom springform cake tin
For the Batter
- 190g Butter (unsalted, softened) / Margarine + extra for preparing the cake tin
- 95g Caster Sugar
- 95g Golden Caster Sugar
- 2 Cardamom pods, seeds within ground
- ¾ tsp Ground Ginger
- Pinch Salt
- 3 Eggs, very Large
- 3 tbsp Milk
- 160g SR Flour
- 40g Cocoa Powder + extra for preparing the cake tin
- 1.5 x 230g tin (drained weight) Pears Halves (or equivalent fresh, peeled & cored)
- 1 tbsp Apricot Jam (ideally smooth)
For the Chocolate Drizzle
- 40ml Double Cream
- 40g Milk or Dark Chocolate
a) Use either fresh pears, tinned or a mixture of both. Our cake was made with a mixture - the overripe pears were chopped and placed in the batter, whilst the tinned were sliced and arranged on top of the cake. b) Avoid letting the ganache cool too much as it will thicken and become difficult to drizzle. If it does become a little too thick, warm it up in a bain marie (bowl suspended over a pan of water).
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