Ok, gotta admit: I always work on a new recipe for the new taste, but this one I did almost entirely for how it looks – I saw the original recipe on Better Homes and Gardens website and I fell in love with it!
I have a massive headache as I am writing this blog post so I’ll try to write a bit, cut it short and jump to the recipe.
This is a very chocolatey, cinnamon-y and pear-y cake. I think it fits the current autumn mood perfect – cinnamon always helps as the season changes to a cooler one. I adapted the original recipe on BHG website almost exactly the same, however I changed one thing about the pears. What I understood from that recipe, you are to core the pears as a whole. But when I wanted to do like that, it did not work well for me, so I cut the pears in two and cored like that. So it’s up to you – you can core the pears as a whole or as divided. In any case, remember to leave the stems intact.
Ok, this is all I can write about this cake because as I said, my head is killing me.. Enjoy your cake!
Difficulty: ★★☆ (Medium)
(makes one loaf, with a pan of dimensions: 26x10x7.5cm)
For poached pears:
2 cups / 5 dl water
4 tbsp granulated white sugar
1 tbsp fruit juice (I used blood orange juice)
1 cinnamon stick
4 medium size pears
For cake batter:
1 2/3 cups / 1 dl + 4 tbsp wheat flour
3/4 cup / 1 dl + 5 tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
1/3 cup / 5 tbsp + 1 tsp cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup / 2 dl + 2 tbsp + 2 tsp buttermilk (piimä in Finnish)
1/2 cup / 1 dl + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
To coat the poached pears (sorry no ingredient photos!):
1 tbsp wheat flour
1 tbsp cacao powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
To coat the baked cake (optional):
1. First, we’ll make poached pears. In a medium size pot, put water, sugar, fruit juice and cinnamon stick and put on medium heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar. When it starts boiling, add pears and reduce heat. Cover and cook pears for about 20-25 minutes until they are tender. Remove from heat, take the pears out and let them cool.
2. While pears are cooking, prepare the mixture to coat poached pears: put the ingredients for that in a shallow plate and mix.
3. Preheat the oven to 175C and grease the loaf pan.
4. Now we make the cake batter. Put all the dry ingredients (from wheat flour to salt in ingredients list) in a bowl and mix.
5. In a medium bowl, put egg, buttermilk and olive oil and beat until they are incorporated.
6. Add dry ingredients and continue beating until they are all mixed well. Put the batter in the greased loaf pan and smoothen the surface.
7. Coat all the pears with the mixture you made in step 2 and place them in the cake batter, stem sides up. Try to place them as deep as possible but it is ok to have the tops exposed because when the cake bakes, the batter will rise up to cover most of that exposed parts of pears.
8. Bake the cake in the middle rack of the oven for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once it is baked and out of the oven, let it cool well before taking it out of the pan. Cover with powdered sugar (optional) and enjoy!