I went looking for a cake idea for my Mother in laws 64th birthday celebrations the other day, one that didnt contain any chocolate as they are migrane inducing for some poor family members! (the stuff of nightmares for me right there!!)
Anyway, I came across a picture of a pear and cardamom cake on Instagram that I thought looked amazing but couldnt find a recipe anywhere for one that didnt include chocolate, so I took this recipe and made a few adjustments, came up with this.. and it is a winner!
Spiced Pear and Cardamom cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom
250g butter, softened
250g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
3 large pears, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 180°. Generously grease a 10-cup round cake tin.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer (or food processor like me) on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Stir in sour cream.
Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Stir in pears.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove cake from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
I had been wanting to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream for ages and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.. I'm now hooked! So much nicer than regular frosting and not half as sweet. I looked up a number of recipes and settled on this one from Serious Eats.
- 1/2 cup egg whites from about 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250g butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl. Continue to whisk until sugar has dissolved (you can check by rubbing a bit of the mixture between your fingers; the mixture shouldn't feel grainy). If you're not worried about salmonella, you can take the mixture off the heat and proceed.
- If you want to pasteurize the meringue, keep whisking until the mixture registers 160°F on a thermometer, then remove from heat. Using a hand-held or a stand mixer, beat the warm mixture until the meringue holds stiff peaks and has cooled to room temperature.
- Beat in vanilla. Add butter one cube at a time, beating well with the electric mixer after each addition. Sprinkle with salt and continue to mix. The mixture may start to look as if it’s separating during this process but don't panic, just keep beating and the buttercream will come together and become smooth.
- (Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container or a zipper-lock bag for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To use buttercream that has either been refrigerated or frozen, first allow to come to room temperature, then beat until smooth and spreadable again. Cakes or cupcakes decorated with buttercream generally keep up to 3 days when refrigerated in an airtight container. Allow buttercream to come to room temperature before serving)
- Decorate your cake and enjoy!