|Honey and pear cake (looking like it's covered in a fresh blanket of snow!)|
The honey and pears complement each other really nicely, and thanks to the cream cheese, the icing actually tastes like Greek yoghurt and honey (which is one of the yummiest things in the world in my opinion.)
It's the sort of cake that makes a lovely post-dinner pudding, but then again I also had a leftover slice for breakfast with some sliced banana on top, not only adding slightly more nutritional value but also deliciousness. But realistically, it's already got pear in so is basically one of your five a day. I reckon it's viable for a January detox quite frankly...
While my mum liked the cake, she said it was verging on being a bit sweet for her tastes. For me though - killer sweet tooth and all - it was perf.
Letting the cake absorb the leftover honey and pear syrup whilst cooling gives the sponge a real moistness, and with the pears and icing on top, each mouthful is a real treat of textures. (That sounded ridiculously pretentious, didn't it? But hopefully you catch my drift.)
Don't forget to take your eggs and butter out of the fridge well in advance. YAY CAKE!
INGREDIENTS - Caramelised pears:
2 large pears
10g unsalted butter
30g runny honey
20g caster sugar
60g caster sugar
20g soft light brown sugar
60ml plain natural yoghurt
1 tsp lemon zest
60g runny honey
60ml sunflower oil
140g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
250g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter, softened
125g cream cheese (Philadelphia)
25g runny honey to taste (add more if you want it stronger!)
Chocolate shavings to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line the bases of two 20cm round sandwich tins.
2. To cook the pears, peel and core them, cutting each pear into 6-8 segments lengthways. Place them in a saucepan with the other ingredients, and leave to cook over a low heat. The butter, sugar and honey will melt and form a lovely syrup with the pear juice. Cook until the pears are soft, verging on translucent and turning slightly golden, stirring as you go. Leave to cool.
|This is what my cooked pears looked like.|
4. Sift together the remaining ingredients, add to the creamed mixture, and mix together with the electric whisk until well incorporated.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins (the mixture will look very shallow in the tines, but it rises up a lot in the oven.) Whilst trying to keep as much of the pear syrup in the pan, top each cake mixture evenly with the pears.
6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until each sponge is golden brown on top, springs back to the touch, the pears are just about covered with cake, and a skewer inserted into the middle of each comes out clean. Once out of the oven, go round the sides of each tin with a palate knife. Whilst still warm, stab each cake a few times with a skewer, then drizzle or spoon the leftover pear syrup over the tops (half on each cake), and leave the cakes to cool completely in their tins before turning out.
7. To make the icing, mix the butter and icing sugar together with a handheld electric whisk on a low speed until no large lumps of butter remain. add the cream cheese and honey and continue mixing until the icing is light and fluffy.
8. Place one sponge on a stand or plate, and top with about half the icing. Place the other sponge on top of it, and cover with the rest of the icing. It's quite runny, so looks really nice if you gently push it to the edge of the cake, and allow to droop down the sides a bit. The icing also has a beautiful glossy finish. Decorate however you wish - I scattered chocolate shavings on top for a simple but stylish finish. Voilà!