Caramelised Pears and Honey Cake

My semester is over! Now I anxiously wait for my grades. I need to maintain a certain gpa to have access to a government bursary while on my future student exchange. Usually this isn’t an issue, but two of my classes were tough this semester so I’m counting on my three other classes to balance out the grades I’m not satisfied with. For two of those classes, the profs didn’t give any grade yet throughout the whole semester so I have no idea where I stand, pretty disconcerting. My last exam was this past Saturday (a weekend exam is so disorienting!). As I was studying for it, my mind kept wandering to recipes I wanted to bake once school was over. Lately I’ve been baking from The Hummingbird Bakery’s cookbook so I decided to continue the trend.

This honey and pear cake is another 4 layer creation of theirs. Placing slices of caramelised pears in the batter is an original way to incorporate the fruit. I prefer when a fruit compote is mixed into the batter, as was done in the recipe for the caramel apple cake. Honey and pears are a lovely, tasty combination. The sweet cake is a beautiful golden shade and has a crumbly texture. The cream cheese and honey frosting adds a tangy flavour to the mix.

As a finishing touch, I decorated the top of the cake with a dusting of cinnamon. Another option is to place crystallised fruits on the frosted cake for an impressive presentation. To do so, whisk 1 to 2 egg whites until frothy. In a second bowl, pour a generous amount of granulated sugar. Then, dip your chosen fruit in the frothy egg whites until it is completely covered. Roll the fruit in the sugar. Place the crystallised fruit on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Let the fruit dry overnight. You can also do this with flower petals.

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Bon appétit!

Recipe Source: Cake Days by The Hummingbird Bakery

Yields 14-16 slices

Ingredients:
•caramelised pears
3 pears
20 grams unsalted butter
60 grams honey
40 grams granulated sugar
•cake
4 eggs
120 grams granulated sugar
40 grams soft light brown sugar
120 ml buttermilk
120 grams honey
120 ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
280 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
•frosting
500 grams icing sugar
100 grams unsalted butter, softened
250 grams cream cheese
50 grams honey

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Instructions:
•caramelised pears
1) Peel and core the pears.
2) Slice the pears lengthwise into 12 pieces/pear.
3) Melt the butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan over low heat.
4) Add the pear slices to the saucepan and cook until the fruit is soft and golden. Do not overcook them or else they will be mushy. Set aside to cool.
•cake
1) Preheat the oven to 325F.
2) Butter four 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
3) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the eggs, granulated sugar and light brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
4) In a small bowl, stir the buttermilk, honey, vegetable oil, and lemon zest together.
5) Pour the buttermilk mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer and mix on low speed.
6) Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.
7) Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed until incorporated.
8) Divide the batter evenly among the 4 prepared cake pans.
9) Top the batter with the slices of pears, 9 slices/cake pan.
10) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown.
11) Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool completely.
•frosting
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and icing sugar together until it reaches a sandy texture.
2) Add the cream cheese and honey, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.

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