Tuesday 23 March 2010

Pear, Maple & Walnut Cake

I'm a bit of a picky one when it comes to cake. I love cakes made with fruit and yet I don't like fruitcake. Pears are a particular favourite of mine, so when I saw this recipe, it jumped straight to the top of the 'must make' list.

I made a few tweaks to the recipe to include Cognac (which always improves things) and maple. Finally, slowly but surely, that kilo of maple sugar is being put to good use. The pears ensure there is no dryness to the cake with the maple giving it an almost caramel flavour. Sweet, dense and with the occasional lump of walnut, this made an excellent accompaniment to the biggest mug of tea I could find.

Pear, Maple & Walnut Cake

350gr plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
175gr maple sugar (double this if you're using normal sugar as maple sugar is twice as sweet)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large pears (I used Comte)
160gr butter, softened
2 small handfuls of walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp icing sugar
A splash of Cognac or brandy

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees C. Grease a 9" springform cake tin.

Mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and bicarbonate of soda in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped walnuts and then add the sugar, butter, Cognac, vanilla extract and eggs to the flour mixture.

Peel the pears and grate them. Mix thoroughly through the cake mixture so that it becomes batter and then pour into your greased cake tin and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 mins - it should be browned on top and a skewer inserted should come out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for about 20 minutes. Then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust it with icing sugar.


S said...

Lizzie, this looks so good! and yes, you are so right- cognac ALWAYS makes everything better. i like how you added the eggs to the dry ingredients. and not liking fruitcake- loads of ppl dont like it and i can totally understand why (i do like it).

Paunchos said...

Hang on a second. Did I read that right. Do you now like cognac!?!?! I thought you'd been put off it for life!

Kavey said...

Lizzie, where did you get maple sugar? Pete loves maple and if I can find some, I might make him something tasty with it!

tehbus said...

Oh God. Pear. And Walnut. And Maple sweet stuff. I think I am having a little cry, that combination sounds so goddamn lovely. *Man UP* Nice work Lizzie. Sounds like an absolutely sterling cake.

Unknown said...

As I started reading this I thought you meant it was a cake with a kilo of sugar in it... I'm relieved to see it isn't!!

I've seen maple sugar either so would be interested to know where you found it.

The Grubworm said...

Ooo - i had something similar with apple and maple in the J&A cafe last week, but this sounds even better (it has Cognac in it). It looks relatively straightforward to make (famous last words) too. Bang goes my waistline.

I can't wait! said...

This is the first time I've felt compelled to comment but my word that looks delicious!!! My mouth is watering... Make it for me :) xxx

BribedwithFood said...

I'm a firm believer that booze in cake is a must.
In fact, I can't remember when was the last time I made a cake without booze in it... Mmmmm...

Adding myself to the list of "Wherechagotthatsugar?"

Jonathan Hudson said...

that looks amazing - could you email me some!?

Sarah said...

Mouth is positively watering!

Sarah said...

Mouth is positively watering!

A Bowl Of Mush said...

Oh yum!
This sounds gorgeous! :)

LexEat! said...

The texture of that slice of cake looks gorgeous!
You can't beat nuts in cakes!

Leigh said...

That looks excellent - what a wonderful combo of flavours!!

Unknown said...

Lizzie this looks delicious - I love the size of the great big wodge of cake you have cut yourself as well.

Hollow Legs said...

Shayma - Thanks! Fruitcake is just too dense for my liking.

Paunchos - NO WAYS. I have been put off it - that's why it went in the cake and not down the gullet ;)

Kavey - sorry - maple sugar I won as a prize, no idea where to get it...

Tehbus - Don't cry!

Sarah - good god no! I'm afraid I won the sugar in a prize, so I'm not too sure...

Grubworm - Thanks!

I Can't Wait - thanks lovely :) I will - then we can eat it for breakfast!

Bribed with food - I'm afraid I won the sugar in a prize... Booze IS a must.

Jonathan - I tried to cram it into my scanner but it didn't work...

Sarah - good news :)

A Bowl - thanks!

Lex - it's very moist - Nuts in it are a must...

Leigh - thanks!

GC - Erm, that was me being modest...!

George@CulinaryTravels said...

Lizzie this looks amazing. I have a feeling it would be good served with hot custard too.

tasteofbeirut said...

Miam. I would love a piece right about now; the idea of the walnuts and the splash of cognac is titillating to say the least!