Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Almondy Pear and Pecan cake

Okay there isn’t actually any almonds in this, instead I used an almond extract. As soon as you take the foil/ lid away you get a beautiful aroma of almonds, and drift away into a cherry bakewell bliss..then reality brings you gently back to earth! This cake was not trying to be a bakewell but with the almondy aroma it can’t help but trick the mind momentarily! However don’t let this distract you from baking it – it is still definitely a pear, and pecan cake. But just jazzed up a little! And very delicious!

As with most of my baking, unless I have been very organised it tends to follow these guidelines:

 1) Want to bake.

 2) Want cake.

 3) Have eggs: Tick (though have been doing some interesting Vegan bakes lately…)

 4) Have butter or Stork: Tick.

 5) Have flour and some form of sugar: awesome now we are getting somewhere

 6) Open cupboard – hmm in date, yes. You’ll do then. And you. And maybe you...

And this cake was made to these rules but also involved what needed using up from the fruit bowl too! I am slacking in that I don’t know what variety of pear they were. They were the child friendly ‘fun size’ ones and were very ripe! I thought initially I didn’t like them but that was when they were unripe. So not very surprising really! They were green anyway.

The 'almondy' part came from a bottle of Bitter Almond Essence, sent to me yonks back from the nice people at Bakery Bits. Whilst I had used it a couple of times, I was a little scared of its strength, and to date hadn't made anything particularly memorable or blog worthy. However I think I was spot on with the strength used in this cake. I do think you have to very careful with strong extracts/ essences, especially almond as can go from pleasant to medicinally pungent in mere drops!

As per part 6 of my foolproof plan, this covered the choosing of the pecans (they are also my favourite nut apart from my mother) , and the oat topping, well I don’t know but was dreaming of crumble at the time….!

Overall this cake for me was a winner. Both my brother and dad liked it too. Enough to have seconds in one sitting so can’t be bad at all! Of course bathed in the unwhipped whipping cream (couldn't be bothered to whisk it!) also assisted in its devouring very nicely. Its lovely and moist from the pear and best eaten within 48 hours or so.

What I am most pleased about is that the cake actually worked. Its very rare anything I’ve baked hasn’t worked (sorry if sounds smug/ modest, I just don’t have frequent baking disasters!) but this baby sunk! Not that you can tell from the pictures of course, as I turned it over, which was the original plan anyway (phew!) but it became essential. After making the cake batter, I thought I would go get my camera. Cue half hour searching and turning my room upside down. Eventually return and the batter, well, it was kind of airy..hmm.. fortunately luck was on my side and you couldn’t tell anything had happened bad!


3 pears weighing 300g, then peeled and diced into 1cm ish chunks – do this bit last
120g self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
70g caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar (save 1 tsp)
120g stork margarine
2 eggs, beaten with ¼ tsp bitter almond essence

25g rolled oats
25g pecan nuts
The 1tsp sugar from above

Start by toasting the oats, nuts and sugar over a low heat, just until you get a nice aroma going on, then reserve to one side

Pre-heat oven to 180o

Cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, beat in a little flour, then egg, then flour, then egg etc until all used up.

Prepare your pears as above. Scatter the oaty mix into an even layer in a fully lined 7cm sandwich tin and top with the pear chunks. Spoon over the batter in an even layer and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until springy to the touch and a skewer comes away clean.

Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack in its liner. Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or custard. Anything you fancy really!

(I always use the pre-cut cake tin liners - makes life so much easier!)


  1. This sounds delicious, and making it an up-side down cake makes sure you get the fruit where you want it!

  2. This looks gorgeous. I love cake with fresh fruit in it.

  3. Love that combination of pear and pecan. Those are very reasonable and sensible baking rules. (Actually I never seem to have eggs when I want them).

  4. It sounds delicious. That's pretty much the way I make cakes too - what have I got and what needs using up! Seems to give pretty good results and your cake certainly looks great.

  5. I`ve tried this recipe and i`m really impressed, it has a very good taste. My both child tried it and they like it a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing.


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