Pear Butter Coffee Cakes

9 Dec


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1 hour till midnight on a sunday night. Another monday ahead. 4 more left till this year is over, including tomorrow. Hope you’re doing well. Hope you’re looking forward to the beginning of the work week because I am certainly not. Ok, I give up, I’ve been trying to write this intro paragraph for the last 30 minutes and I’m totally out of material here. Nothing to write about. At least nothing interesting, and I do want to share this recipe, so I won’t bore you with the inconsequential details of my life… tonight.

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Let’s get this cake thing going!  Right? who doesn’t love cake… I’m actually not a big cake fan (zebra cake was different, I have that in my arsenal now for when my nephew’s birthday comes along and it was a great skill to learn, thanks Fae! ), but a small coffee cake to go with … yes… a morning coffee is a different story. Bring it. Up in these lands! butter and flour in the mornings is a must! (I would go for eggs myself but hey…oh, yes, add a steak in there) 

Ingredients:

Cake:

300g  AP flour
150g sugar
3 Tbsp hershey’s coco powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup sliced almonds (toasted in a little olive oil)
2 eggs (room temp)
200g butter (very soft)
200g pear butter (see bellow)
1/4 vanilla extract

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Icing:

200g confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp water
dark chocolate shavings to garnish

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For the cake. Sift dry ingredients in a bowl, including the almonds (which can be toasted on a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, for a few minutes on medium low heat). Reserve. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar and eggs. Cream until fluffy and light in color, about 5 minuted on medium speed. Add the rest of the wet ingredient and beat until combined. The butter could curdle by over-beating which isn’t the end of the world, but try stop when the mix looks smooth and nicely combined. Fold in the dry ingredients, and by this I mean, do not use the stand mixer, simply fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones using a silicon spatula or a wooden spoon. Some marbling is ok, the batter will finish combining itself while cooking. The batter should resemble that of muffins, creamy with some structure, not runny. The purpose of folding in this particular case is to develop as little gluten as possible. This cake has a very delicate crumb, is not as moist as other cakes, but that’s probably a good thing if having it with a nice and hot cup of coffee in the morning, monday morning, yes. There’s something about monday morning, anything that can ease one into the madness of the work week is always appreciated… but I’m digressing … it’s sunday night, that’s why. Back to baking. Spray nonstick oil, on nonstick cake pans. No need to flour if they’re nonstick. If you’ve been reading this blog, and enjoying the posts on baking, that oven should be preheated to 350F for about an hour before anything goes in there. Fill the pans half way up with the batter. Slam them on the counter a few times, to even out the content and remove any unwanted big bubbles. Place the pans in the oven and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes. Insert an instant read thermometer into the center of the cake, if you get a read close to boiling point or 212F at sea level, then the cake should be done. You can also insert a toothpick in the same fashion, and only a few little crumbs should stick to the toothpick, but nothing wet should be visible on it.

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Oh, I almost forgot! the pear butter! I recently posted about a pear tart I made for the thanksgiving after party. Two bosc pears survived that ordeal. Core the pears. Leave the peels on. It will add texture to the cake. Dice and cook over medium heat in a saucepan. Add about a 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, a pinch of salt.  Cook, until pears break down, and reduce to cook off the excess liquid. Some caramelization might occur at the bottom of the saucepan which is great. Keep an eye on it, don’t let anything burn. Transfer content of the saucepan to a blender. Be careful, pears are really hot, they will release a lot of steam if you blend them hot. You can, but protect yourself, and hold the blender lid down tight, cover it with one or two dry kitchen towels. Press down hard on that lid, pulse a couple of times, then blend continuously for a few minutes. If there’s too little liquid for the blender to do its job. Add some water. Blend until smooth. About 5 minutes. Return the blended pears to the saucepan. Reduce until you have a mixture with the consistency of warm marmalade. Allow to cool in the fridge overnight. That’s it.

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For the icing. This is a simple as it gets, at least this kind of icing. Just place sugar and water in a bowl and whisk until a paste forms. Degrees of thickness… right? well, I didn’t measure the ingredients listed above, they are an approximation. Most people will be able to do it without thinking about it. But if you haven’t made icing before, I would start by placing the sugar in the bowl and drizzle half the water, and whisk, check, you’ll know if you need more water, because it’s impossible to incorporate all the sugar if the water is too little. Add a little more water, whisk again, it will come together. I stop right when that happens, and maybe add a little more sugar to thicken it up a bit more. It will set once it cools in the fridge. Drizzle the icing over the cakes. I used the same whisk to scoop out some icing, and I let it drip over the cakes. Piece of cake. Yes, intended. Shave some dark chocolate over the icing and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to overnight. Bon appetit and happy monday! Be strong!

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40 Responses to “Pear Butter Coffee Cakes”

  1. Claire @ The Black Cat Kitchen December 9, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    This looks delicious. I made a huge batch of pear and cardamom butter not long ago and this looks like the perfect use for some of it :-)

    • That other cook... December 9, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      Thank you Clair! perfect! it’s all about the preservation kitchen, isn’t it! I love working out recipes in which I can use other things I’ve made. Nothing goes to waste, everybody happy :)

  2. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs December 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Oh, this looks so delicious. And pretty. And it just so happens that I have one very large red pear in my refrigerator right now. I’m thinking it will be good enough, it’s huge! I’m gathering the ingredients right after I hit the “post” button. Yum… thanks so much for sharing!!

    • That other cook... December 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

      thank you so much! Let me know how yours turns out! Im not sure how large this pear is, but maybe you need only 2/3 of the ingredients in this recipe?

  3. The Editor December 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Reblogged this on Recipe Reblog.

  4. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso December 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Looks and sounds great!

  5. Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Looks Amazing! Especially the icing :)

  6. StefanGourmet December 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Looks great, even though I’m not fond of American icing (as I’ve dubbed it). Could you actually taste the pear in the final cake?

    • That other cook... December 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

      it probably doesn’t show in the photos, but these cakes were very small, about 12-15 cm long, and they weren’t too sweet either, the icing helps bring up the flavor in this case, and it isn’t overpowering I don’t think. Im not fond of this type of icing myself, but sometimes I don’t mind it, like on danishes, it really helps, plus adds a visual component that I like. The pear flavor was definitely there, it really depends in the amount of reduction on the pear butter. The classic little crunchy granules found in pears where also present in the cake, it was quite fun to try it.

      • StefanGourmet December 10, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

        Sounds good :-) In fact, I had not noticed they were that small.

      • That other cook... December 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

        yeah, they were actually tiny :)

  7. Patty Nguyen December 10, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Mmmm…I’ve never tried pear cake before. Yours turned out beautifully!

    • That other cook... December 10, 2013 at 1:45 am #

      thank you Patty, this cake in particular was super light out of the oven. I was pretty happy, given my long struggle with quick breads and cakes recipes!

      • Patty Nguyen December 10, 2013 at 1:50 am #

        I can’t imagine you struggling with any kind of recipe!

      • That other cook... December 10, 2013 at 1:54 am #

        thank you Patty, but quick breads and muffins are tricky!! they deserve respect and close attention!

      • Patty Nguyen December 10, 2013 at 1:56 am #

        Yes, baking is tricky! I’ve never tried baking bread for that very reason. Too scary. My brain can’t process the kneading part.

      • That other cook... December 10, 2013 at 1:59 am #

        ok, baking bread isn’t easy, but I find it easier than muffins. I love baking bread at home, and it isn’t even stressful, it is a very relaxing activity. 3 or 4 ingredients and some patience while the oven does the work. The kneading, by hand is a bit of work, but not too much, with a stand mixer, it’s a breeze. I hope you give it a try, I have some bread recipes on my blog, they’re a bit old, but hopefully helpful!

      • Patty Nguyen December 10, 2013 at 2:03 am #

        I think I may just do that! I will let you know how it goes. Good thing I have a stand mixer. If things don’t turn out well, then I will send you some muffins in return for a loaf of bread!

      • That other cook... December 10, 2013 at 7:58 am #

        hahaha, im confident your load of bread will turn out great : ) I would still take those muffins! Here’s a link:

        http://thatothercookingblog.com/2012/07/29/basic-french-bread/

        I was just learning about this whole thing so bare that in mind. I was also a lot newer to blogging then, so let me know if you need anything clarified :) There are no-knead bread recipes online if you want to explore that. I haven’t tried myself, but it’s been a trend in recent years.

  8. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward December 10, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Nice flavors, Paul. Another recipe that I must make from your blog. You have too many great things coming out of your kitchen! Pear butter – that is a lovely idea! Oh, and I see that you have taken on the Pear ingredient challenge, even if by happenstance. Bookmarking this immediately. Warm regards, Shanna

  9. Anne ~ Uni Homemaker December 10, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Sounds spectacular! I absolutely adore coffee cakes. YUM!

    • That other cook... December 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      thank you Anne! I love to eat them, but I’ve never made them until now. I’ve been baking more frequently, and it’s not a constant disaster anymore :)

  10. andmorefood December 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    nothing about your life is inconsequential (: I hope you’re feeling fine! I get writer’s block too, when blogging, and sometimes the best thing to do is to go away and eat some chocolate and take a break (this is my cure-all)

    • That other cook... December 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      :) thank you! I’m good, i was in a bit of a funk the other evening, i think I was watching some movie with some end credit music that wasn’t the happy kind.. hahah, I had to switch to some stand up comedy, and that made all the difference and I was able to finish the post! I should have gone for some chocolate! :)!! milk chocolate

  11. Amanda December 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Wow this is gorgeous. Such beautiful photos. I really want to give this one a shot. The flavors are so perfect for the season.

  12. ChgoJohn December 11, 2013 at 4:44 am #

    In the past, you’ve mentioned your problems baking, Paul. Well, it looks like those days are behind you. These cakes look great and sound delicious.

    • That other cook... December 12, 2013 at 3:07 am #

      I’m definitely making progress, it’s not a total disaster every time hahahah ! Thanks John!!! :)

  13. Anonymous December 13, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Lovely cake…coffee and pears, an amazing combination!

  14. wendy@chezchloe December 18, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    That’s a charming little cake and I’m sure it will go far. Great photos.

    • That other cook... December 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      thanks Wendy!! it was well received by the local audiences :)

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