Spiced Pear Cake

We’re definitely entering into the ‘everything spiced’ time of year & I’m not complaining! I love the pantry & all of it’s dried fruits & spices. For me, apart from Christmas, adding cinnamon to just about everything is the only good thing about the colder months. But we’re not quite there yet, we’ve still got plenty of fresh autumnal produce to ease us into the depths of winter. Apples & pears are in season right now & make for some of the best & most comforting desserts (& one heck of an epic chutney!).

Spiced Pear Cake

Today, I’m not bringing you a pie, crumble or a strudel however, but wanted to shine the light on delicious pears which can be so much more than just poached. Here in this spiced pear cake, I’ve paired them with the sweetness of almond, seasonal figs, spices, the creaminess of mascarpone & indulgence of caramel to create a beautiful, seasonal layer cake that is full of comfort & flavour.

SPICED PEAR CAKE
(makes an 18cm layer cake)

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 250g butter
  • 225g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 45ml milk
  • 300g pear (around 3 large), cored & chopped

For the filling & cream cheese covering:

  • 200g fig jam
  • 750g mascarpone
  • 30g icing sugar

Optional – For the decoration:

Method:

To make the cake:

  • In a large bowl, beat together the sugar & butter until pale & fluffy
  • Add the eggs to the bowl, one at a time, beating after each addition
  • Next, sift all of the flour, almonds, baking powder, salt & spices into the bowl & beat until just combined & no pockets of dry flour remain
  • Add the milk to bowl & beat everything until smooth
  • Finally, add the chopped pear to the bowl & fold through the mixture until evenly distributed
  • Divide the mixture evenly between 3 greased & lined 18cm sandwich tins
  • Bake in the oven at 180C for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden & the cakes are springing back to the touch when pressed lightly with a finger in the centre
  • Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 mins before removing & placing on a wire cooling rack until cooled

To fill & assemble the cake:

  • In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone with the icing sugar until smooth
  • To begin assembling the cake, secure the bottom sponge layer of the cake to it’s plate or stand will a little of the frosting
  • Now add half of the fig jam on top of the cake & spread evenly
  • Add roughly a third of the frosting on top of the fig jam & spread evenly, right up to the edges of the cake
  • Place the next layer of cake on top & repeat the same process
  • Add the final layer of cake to the top & use the remaining frosting to cover the top & sides of the cake
  • Add half of the icing sugar to the bowl & beat until combined
  • Add the rest of the icing sugar to the bowl & beat again until smooth
  • Beat in all of the salted caramel to the buttercream until fully incorporated

Optional –to decorate the cake:

  • Once the cake has been covered with frosting, pour the salted caramel all over the top of the cake & use a spoon to spread it evenly & tease it to drizzle over the edge a little
  • Top with fresh or dried fruit & serve

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