Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pear and Cardamom Caramel upside-down Cake

Pears are temperamental - It's hard to find a really GOOD Pear. You don't want one that's hard, dry and powdery and on the other hand, you don't want one that's too soft and mushy. It needs to be somewhere in between - firm, juicy and full of flavour.

As I had a few extra Pears lying around, I decided to pick up 'The Cardamom Trail' by Chetna Makan and flick through to find where I could put these fruits to use and hey the first recipe in the book was her 'Pear and Cardamom caramel upside-down cake'. Please remind me why I neglected this book for long - this recipe turned out delish! Although I mostly followed the recipe in the book, I used added a little fresh nutmeg to the caramel topping, and a couple drops of almond esscence in the cake batter to give it that little bit of almond flavour which I thought worked really well. 





Cake Batter 
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Butter
  • 150g Self-Raising Flour
  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • 10g Flaked Almonds
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges 
  • A few drops of Almond Essence 

Caramel Topping
  • 50g Butter
  • 100g Dark Muscavado Sugar
  • 1 tsp ground Cardamom
  • Half tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 4 Pears peeled, cored and halved 

Method 
  • Preheat the oven to gas 4 and line a 23cm round springfrom cake tin with greaseproof paper
  • First, make the topping by gently heating the butter, sugar, cardamom and nutmeg until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Pour this caramel into your prepared cake tin making sure it's spread evenly over the base. Sit the halved pears over the caramel with the cut sides facing down. 
  • For the cake, place all the ingredients into a standing mixer and whisk for a 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Spoon this mixture carefully over the pears and bake for 1 hour or until the skewer comes out clean. Remember, the pears will be moist so to insert the skewer in the middle of the cake. I also placed a tray underneath my cake tin in the oven to catch any excess caramel whihc may drip out. 
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, turn out and enjoy. Paired with hot custard, this cake is even more delicious!



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