This cake is from Les Dimanches de Joêl Robuchon which presumably contain a few of the celebrated chef’s favorite recipes. We had a glut of pears this year and to be honest, they were not that great. I’d feel forlorn looking at them day after day, as some would develop black spots and end up tossed in the trash bin.
Then I read this recipe, which caramelizes the pears prior to incorporating them in the cake batter. Perfect technique to rescue mediocre pears.
This cake is a treat to eat; it has a soft and delicate crumb. The kitchen filled with a delightful caramel aroma while it was baking.
- 2 lbs of pears ( 1 kg) (about 6 pears)
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (350 g)
- 1 3/4 cup sifted flour (250 g)
- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar (250 g)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup of honey (50 g)
- dash salt
- 1 tsp pear brandy (or another type of brandy)
- Grease a long cake mold, place a piece of baking paper in it and store in the fridge.
- Peel and dice the pears (1/2 ” bits) and place in a bowl; melt 4 tbsp of butter in a large skillet and pan-fry the pears over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes; add the honey and stir gently for a few minutes until the pears are golden and caramelized. Turn off the heat and set them in the fridge to cool quickly (drain the extra fat first).
- In a mixing bowl, place the butter and cream it for two minutes; add the powdered sugar and cream the mixture for a few minutes until it gets lighter in color and very creamy in texture. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat; if the batter looks a bit curdled at the end, that’s not a problem; add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix till the cake batter is smooth and well combined. Transfer to a bowl and fold the caramelized pears in. Pour into the cake pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry. Cool for 10 minutes and flip the cake onto a serving dish.