Friday, 24 September 2010

Pear and Ginger Cake

This cake is being relegated into the 'Outtakes' section as a lesson for not following the recipe in full and generally breaking one or two baking rules. Did you notice that the photo has not been proudly displayed on top? Well, being disappointed with cake shouldn't happen but...

Bad idea trying to change a recipe 3/4 through cooking ... 
I really liked the combo of  pear with ginger in a cake but during the baking I decided that the recipe I had chosen ; "A Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake", seemed more pudding time than tea time.  I wanted a cake as a coffee cake or a loaf cake. However, changing your mind three quarters of the way through cooking and then, flipping the cake over into a different cold tin, isn’t going to do it any favours. Never mind about not opening the oven door, let's just get the whole thing out and ruin it properly!

Despite changing tins and destroying the full rising process, the cake maintained its shape  surprisingly begin with..... I hastily took a picture. As I cut  into it,  bits began to fall off the side and I started to think; what an ugly looking cake. Yes, it gets the prize for the  ugliest cake photo to-date because I was looking at those pears on top and thinking; they look like slugs. You really didn't want to read that in a food blog, did you? Food stylists everywhere have gone to find a stiff drink.

Those are pears on top !
Despite changing tins and destroying the full rising process the cake maintained its texture pretty well. It looked better for being sliced up and served with ladles of custard. Also, it still tasted quite 'nice' which is a polite British way of saying 'Yes, it's sweet and I can swallow it but I never want seconds'. The conference pears I had used were pretty tasteless and overwhelmed by the caramel base which of course, is now the top. The ginger cake was fairly mild, I would certainly up that or add some stem ginger next time.

For those of you not put off, I am assured that if you follow the recipe correctly and bake it  in a shallow tin with the pears and caramel on the bottom, you will have a perfectly wonderful Upside Down Pear and Ginger Cake. I am going to continue to find a pear and ginger loaf recipe for tea-time which does not involve flipping cakes over and even looks beautiful when you turn it out of the tin. Twitter me if you know of one!

Cake :
5oz (140g) Butter

6oz (170g) Brown sugar
2 tbsp Dark treacle
1 Egg
oz (225g) Self raising flour
3tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp of ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ pint of warm milk

3 firm pears


Preheat oven 140c/120c Fan/300F/Gas Mark 2.

Cream together 2 oz (50g) of the fat with 3 oz (80g) of the sugar. Spread over the bottom of a well greased shallow tin and cover with thinly sliced pears.

Cream remaining fat and sugar and beat in egg, add treacle and cream again. Mix together dry ingredients and mix into creamed ingredients with the warmed milk.  Pour into tin on top of pears and cook for 40 minutes or until cooked through . Serve hot with custard or cold with cream.

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