Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Baked Pear And Almond Cake

A few years ago when I started my garden I dreamt of being able to go and pick pears and apples off the trees - be careful what you wish for! This year after years of waiting my trees are now weighed down and every time I pass them they speak to me…pick me please….I now have a glut of both apples and pears. This week I am giving you some recipes using pears and next week I will tackle the apples. Happy Cooking!

100g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
75g ground almonds
175g butter
175g caster sugar
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
3 free range eggs beaten
6 ripe slim pears

For the chocolate sauce:
75ml cream
75 ml chocolate

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160c (fan oven). Butter a 245cm (9½ inch) springform tin and line the base with parchment paper.
  2. To make the cake sift the flour and baking powder and add the almonds. Bear the butter and vanilla together until white and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a little at a time, sprinkling in a tablespoon of flour when you have added half the eggs, this is to stop the mixture curdling. Fold in the rest of the flour gently but thoroughly. Spread the mixture over the base of the prepared tin. Cut the bottom of each pear to make a flat base - this to make sure the pears don't fall over during baking. Arrange the pears in a ring around the cake, stalk side up. Leave a 2cm border of cake mixture between the pear and the tin. Bake until the pears are tender and the cake has pulled away from the side of the tin. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked, about 1 hour. 
  3. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen before unmoulding. Use a palate knife to ease the cake off the base on to a serving dish.
  4. For the chocolate sauce, heat the cream in a small saucepan until just below simmering point and remove at once from the heat. Stir in the chocolate and leave to melt for a minute or two, then stir until smooth and glossy.
  5. Serve cut in wedges with a generous swirl of chocolate and a lavish dusting of icing sugar.