A good pear is hard to find. And when you do find one, one that smells sweet, feels soft, but not too soft, and tastes like manna from heaven, it is very, very hard not to gobble it up straight away. It is hard to peel it, cut it up into little pieces, resist devouring those, and then put it into a cake.
I rarely buy pears as more often than not, they are rock hard when you buy them, and they stay rock hard for about 2 weeks, and then they begin to rot. They never actually ripen. So I tend to save myself the anguish of being teased with the promise of pear loveliness that ends in rotten disappointment. Last week I found some good pears.
But what to do with them? Munch then straight away? Turn them into lovely pear cocktails? (I did this anyway, stay posted for the recipe) Make them into a gorgeous cake? Cake wins. Every time it seems. Do I have an addiction? Maybe, but there are worse things that one can be addicted to besides cake, so I’m just going with it.
The pear in this recipe just works, beautifully. It moistens and subtly flavours the cake, while complimenting the other flavours. The amaretti biscuits and ground almonds give a gentle background of almond and the coffee gives you an initial burst of flavour before it blends gently into the other tastes. Yum.
I like a cake that does not need icing. And this cake is certainly one of those. Its tender crumb and the moisture of the fruit keep it form being dry and its sweet enough just as it is, without it being too much. The chocolate that you will feel obliged to drizzle on top adds a hint of richness which is more than enough adornment for this baked beauty.
Its not a long involved cake but it impressive enough to serve to your most judgemental friends at a dinner party, maybe spruced up just a teeny tiny bit with a scoop of ice cream on the side. It also makes the perfect midnight snack when you wander into the kitchen searching for a sweet fox before bed. Don’t worry, I won’t tell 😉
Coffee, Pear an Amaretti Drizzle Cake
From DeLonghi, in Delicious Magazine
What you will need:
175g softened butter
175g light muscavado sugar
3 medium eggs
50g ground almonds
1 tsp ground cardamom (or 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground)
175g self raising flour
2 tbsp espresso coffee
3 ripe pears, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
4 amaretti biscuits, roughly crushed
75g dark chocolate
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 190C
grease and line a 20cm loose-bottomed tin
Cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy
Beat in the eggs one at a time
Fold in the ground almonds, cardamom, flour, coffee, and 2/3 of the chopped pears until well combined
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface
Scatter the remaining pears and 2/3 of the amaretti biscuits over the top and bake for 1 hour until risen and cooked. If you insert a skewer into the centre it should come out clean
Allow the cake to cool completely
Remove the cake from the tin and place onto a serving platter. Scatter over the remaining biscuits.
Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top of the cake