wanted to create an Autumn cake that would fit with the seasons. Having been a bit of a stranger to baking recently, a gloriously empty leafy weekend back home seemed like a good time to reassure myself that The Great British Bake Off hadn’t detered me from the cake world! Pears seemed like a good choice here and I’m a cinnamon addict. After recently discovering the delights of ‘Lotus spread’ I felt it needed a place in one of my recipes so is used here in a crunchy coffee tainted buttercream. The chocolate leaves are a nice Autumnal touch here for a special occasion but feel free to leave these off if life is far too short in your eyes…
Makes 2 small cakes or 1 large one
- 740g pears
- 40g butter
- 3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
- ½ heaped tsp cinnamon
- 200g butter
- 200g sugar
- 200g self raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs, beaten lightly
- Peel, core and halve the pears and diced.
- Heat the 40g butter, sugar and cinnamon in a frying pan until melted.
- Add the pears and cook until the pears and softened and the caramel thickens and coats the pears. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. and grease and line 2 small cake tins (15cm wide) or one large one (24cm spring form tin)
- Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Add the eggs bit by bit with a little flour if it curdles.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder
- Finally fold in the pears and their syrup and spoon into the tins.
- bake for about 35-40 minutes until springy to touch and cooked in the middle. Leave to cool.
NOTE: Cake tin size: I used two small tins. This isn’t really a recipe that could make a tiered cake due to the pears which make it more of a dense cake. So either use 2 small tins for 2 cakes or one large one. I also had some extra mixture so made a few muffins (which will take about 20 minutes to bake) as gifts to take to some willing friends.
- 160g unsalted butter, softened
- 80g ‘Lotus biscuit spread’, crunchy
- 90g ish icing sugar
- 40-50g dark chocolate
- Handful mint leaves
- Start with the chocolate leaves. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over some simmering water until melted.
- Use a pastry brush and coat the back of the mint leaves very thickly. Done too thinly and they will snap when ready. Don’t worry about doing these really thickly. Lay over a rolling pin to dry and pop in the fridge.
- Once set, remove from the fridge. I won’t lie, this bit is fiddly and I think I only ended up with 2 whole leaves. But, the effect is still good. Make sure your hands are really hot and carefully peel the mint leaf from the chocolate. Repeat and set these aside carefully.
- For the buttercream, cream together the butter, spread and as much icing sugar to taste. This is a guide and your tastes will vary.
- Spoon into a piping back and use to pipe your cakes
- Decorate with the leaves and serve!