HAPPY (belated) NEW YEAR!!!!
I know it’s been some time since my last post and I apologize. I took some time off during the holidays to spend with family and travel Ohio for Christmas gatherings and a baby shower. When we got back I was totally exhausted getting back into the work week that I took a bit longer than expected off from the blog. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to 2012 as much as we are!
While I was home we spent many hours in the kitchen! I love baking and cooking with my family! It’s always fun and I always guarantee to make a mess. I felt so bad for my parent’s carpet. I bet there is dried batter in more places than they care to know about. Oops! On the menu Christmas morning was this Pear Spice Cake I found over on Joy’s blog. I love spice cake and knew that a pear one would make a perfect treat on that special day.
Original plan was to eat around 11:30am. Well, an hour and a half past that we were finally sitting down. The prep work turned out to be a bit more involved than I originally planned, or maybe it was because I was simply enjoying making it and not rushing through the steps. Regardless, this spice cake is well worth it! It was AMAZING!!! Perfect flavor, texture, spice, and the praline topping was pure heaven! The idea of turning this into a repeat Christmas cake was not only mentioned, but I’m pretty sure demanded. This would make a great addition to any brunch menu, holidays or not. Did I happen to mention it reheats very well…added bonus!!
Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping
Recipe from Joy the Baker
Pear Spice Cake Ingredients
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 pears, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups)
- 3/4 – 1 cup walnuts, toasted, cooled, and finely chopped
Walnut Praline Topping
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Pear Spice Cake Directions
1. Make sure rack is in the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour bundt pan. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes for a hand mixer and about 3 minutes in a stand mixer. Be sure to scrape the bowl every few minutes. Add yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Fold in pear pieces and chopped walnuts.
4. In a separate bowl with cleaned beaters, beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Gently fold whites into batter until fully combined.
5. Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan, smoothing top, and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. If serving warm, start walnut praline topping while cake is cooling. Invert onto rack to cool.
Walnut Praline Topping Directions
1. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, whipping cream and 1/2 cup butter over medium-high heat until smooth. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in walnut pieces. Spoon warm topping over cake.
- I reduced the amount of walnuts in both the cake and topping due to personal preference.
- When topping is first placed over cake it will run down the sides, this is ok. It forms a wonderful pool in the middle that is absolutely divine. If you prefer to have more topping on the cake itself, allow topping to cool slightly before spreading on cake. Next time I think I will let it cool for a bit.
- This cake is delicious with pear, but would also be good with apple pieces as well.