It has been a very long time since I have written a recipe on this blog. Ever since coming back from my holidays, I’d have the urge to bake something but always would be puzzled about what to make. I mean, I have all these dessert cookbooks and still don’t know what to make! Does anyone else have the same problem or is it just me? I guess it’s just easier to find recipes online as you don’t have to search through the mountains of cookbooks to find something you want to bake.
With the end of Summer long gone and the leaves of trees starting to brown, we start to approach the seasons I’m not too fond of – I just dislike being cold and wet most of the time. Although the only good thing out of these seasons is the warm and comforting food it brings. Because I’m being in denial that we are actually in Autumn I decided to turn a cake that was originally summery into an autumn-ish one by using pears instead of mangoes.
I tweaked the recipe slightly from the original; mainly cut down on the sugar because my dad says that I use too much sugar and butter when I bake, but I think I would of gotten away with cutting it down to 1/3 cup since I did add in some of the remaining vanilla syrup. This cake has a light yet firm texture, similar to madeira cake, and isn’t insanely drenched in syrup as well. I absolutely love it!
EDIT: And I’d imagine you’d be able to substitute the pear fruit for this recipe; plums, apples, mangoes, peaches, oranges…
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 55
1/2 cup (110g) white sugar
3/4 cup (180mL) water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
2 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1 cup (120g) almond meal, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
150g unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
For the syrup
- Place the sugar, water, lime juice and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Add the pears and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the pears and reserve the syrup.
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Line a 11 x 21cm rectangle tin with baking paper.
- Place eggs, sugar, half the reserved syrup and vanilla in a bowl and beat for 8-10 minutes, or until thick, pale and tripled in volume.
- Sift the flour, almond meal and baking powder over the egg mixture and gently fold to combine.
- Add the butter and lime rind and fold to combine.
- Place the pear slices on the base of the prepared tin and pour the cake batter over the pears.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when tested.
- Allow cake to cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning out.
- Drizzle remaining syrup over cake before serving.