Ending September with this impressive, yet simple enough Pear and Cardamom Cake. This flavoursome spice cake with a caramelized pear topping is a great dessert for fall.
How is it already the end of September? I think I blinked and here we are and the end already. That means only three months till the the years end. Don't even get me started on that. Part of me still thinks the year is only just getting going. I know I have written somewhere in a little book "Goals for 2017" and I might just have to throw that in the nearest bonfire to avoid life long depression. There is always 2018, right?
A little bit about the cake.
If you have never made an upside down cake, trust me they are super easy. I think they look impressive and they tend to last longer than a regular cake. By last longer, I mean they don't tend to dry out as quickly. Not that they don't get eaten quick. Am I making any sense? For the record it is 4:34 am. I am traditionally an early riser, but this is clearly crazy. I do go through spurts of waking in the wee hours the morning and I know when that happens it is pointless to toss and turn. Sleep is just not coming my way. Believe it or not, this is quite often the time I use to sit and write. So if you are ever reading along and nothing makes sense, now you know why!
Okay, I was talking about the cake.
I used Bartlett pears in this recipe, which I personally really like. Bartlett pears cook really well and they don't have to be overly ripe when you cook them. In fact, the pears I used in this recipe were a little under ripe for eating. Still when cooked, they were perfect.
Here is a strange fact for you, there are apparently over 3000 varieties of pears!!! What? I say that again, 3000. How on planet earth is this even possible? Well, apparently according to Wikipedia this is a fact. If you are interested in that sort of thing and you have a lifetime to remember them, go on and check it out! Oh, it doesn't actually list all 3000 (thankfully), but the more commonly know ones. Are we to even believe this to be true? The internet.
I need more sleep.
Back to the cake.
You will note in the recipe that I used a spring from pan, this really isn't necessary but it will make life easier. So, if you have one, I suggest you use it. The sugar layer that you line the pan with will be quite thin, but it will spread out to cover the entire pan if you persist with the back of a spoon in flattening it out. I cut my pear slices pretty thin, I would say about 1/4 of an inch each slice and this worked pretty well. I didn't really overlap the pears when I made the pattern, but you can do this if you like.
Again, I can't stress enough the baking time and knowing your oven. Yes, I am like a broken record as I talk about this all the time. It is a fact that one of the main reasons their are so many failures in baking, is that people don't understand the temperature of their ovens. I have baked in some pretty unpredictable ovens over the years and have learned that although the baking time stated might be say 25 minutes, an unreliable oven could take up to an hour! Yes, I have worked with ovens that terrible. This cake baked for me at 40 minutes. I put in the recipe below between 40 - 50 minutes. You are looking for a toothpick inserted in the centre to come out clean.
Personally, I think this cake is best served with fresh whipped cream. Or your could serve it with ice cream or even Greek yoghurt. Either way, a great cake. Now, back to bed I must go!
Pear and Cardamom Cake
Serves 10 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Bake time: 40-50 minutes
2 Pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 Cup/100 grams brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter
5-6 Cardamom pods, split open and seeds finely chopped
2 Cups/250 grams flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons ginger
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup/115 grams butter
3/4 Cups/150 grams sugar
2/3 Cups/160 ml milk
1 Teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan set over medium to low heat, add the 3 tablespoons of butter until melted. Add the brown sugar and chopped cardamom seeds. Stir well and leave until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Have ready a 10 inch spring form pan. Evenly spread out the brown sugar mixture. Top with pear slices. Starting at the edge of the pan and start fanning them around until you have covered the entire pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed until smooth. About 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. About a further 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporate well after each addition . Add vanilla extract and mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
Add 1/2 of the four mixture to the batter and stir until just combined. Then pour in all the milk at once and stir until combined. Add remaining flour and stir until combined.
Evenly pour the batter into the pan. Bake between 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Use a sharp knife to go around the edge of the pan and loosen the cake. Unclip the pan and remove the sides. Invert cake onto a baking rack and remove the bottom of the pan.
Cake can be served immediately warm. Will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container on the counter.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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