Last weekend I made mini maple roasted pear cakes with spiced chocolate topping. The whole thing was an impromptu invention in order to use up some pears I still had in the fridge, and I used an apricot Madeira cake recipe minus the apricots. I needed only half of the batter, though, so I had half left over as well as some of the puréed maple roasted pears.
I didn’t want to make another batch of mini cakes, so I got out a small paper loaf mold that was exactly the right size. Added some cocoa powder to the dough, some chopped roasted hazelnuts and some hazelnut syrup, then garnished the cake with some shop bought vanilla couverture (have never used shop bought before!), added some more hazelnuts and chocolate sprinkles to that and voilà – another cake for Monday!
This turned out surprisingly good, I’ll keep this Madeira cake recipe in mind when I’m stuck for a basic cake recipe again. Due to both the oil and the puréed pears this is a lovely moist cake. Also, you can subtly taste the pears, which I prefer to tasting it and thinking “oh, it’s pear cake”. What I would not do again is use shop bought artificial tasting topping. Definitely worth making your own by melting some chocolate and adding whatever spice you like.
The ingredients below are for a normally sized cake, I used half for my small cake.
1 EL maple syrup
2 EL chopped hazelnuts
Peel and de-core pears, then cut into 1 x 1 cm dice. Put on a small baking tray together with the hazelnuts, pour over the maple syrup and mix well so that the pears are covered in syrup. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 200°C.
Once the pears have cooled down, purée them finely.
5 eggs (medium)
125 g sugar
grated lemon peel
250 g flour
½ pack (approx. 10 g) baking powder
125 ml oil
125 ml water
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp chopped roasted hazelnuts
1 tbsp hazelnut syrup
Beat eggs, sugar and grated lemon peel until creamy. Sieve flour and baking powder into the mixture, then mix in oil and water.
Add cocoa powder, hazelnuts, syrup and puréed pears, and mix well. Pour into a loaf tin and bake at 200°C for 45 minutes. Keep checking consistency with a wooden skewer, and if after 45 minutes it still comes out sticky, bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.
Let cool, then decorate with any kind of liquid chocolate you fancy, sprinkle with more chopped hazelnuts, and let the topping cool.