Spiced Pear Cake

Friday, December 30, 2016

The reduced fruit bin never ceases to draw out my creativity. I saw a large bag of unwanted and overripe pears and thought I could whip up a tasty creation. I wanted to use a large quantity of pears with minimal effort. This recipe used 4 cups of pears and really didn't take that long to prepare.
The result was a wonderfully spicy, fruit-filled cake!

Spiced Pear Cake adapted from Allrecipes

4 cups peeled, cored and chopped pears
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 egg whites
2/3 cup canola oil

In a bowl peel, core and chop the pears into small cubes. Add the sugar, stir and let stand for one hour.

Preheat oven to 325°C and spray a 10- inch bundt pan with non-stick spray. 

Whip the egg whites for one minute and add the oil. Stir to combine.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon in another bowl and add to the egg whites. Add in the pear sugar mixture and combine. Spoon batter into the greased bundt pan and level. 

Bake for 60 -70 minutes or when a toothpick comes out clean. Let stand on a wire cake for 20 minutes and invert cake to cool. 

Christmas Fruit Cake

Friday, December 9, 2016

Fruitcakes can be traced back to the Middle Ages when recipes began to include pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Crusaders carried cakes made of barley mash mixed with honey, fruit and spices to sustain them during long journeys. 

With the introduction of dried fruits arriving from the Mediterranean in the 1400s, fruitcakes increased in popularity in Europe. While in America, it was the introduction of sugar from American colonies that began the preservation of fruit starting a new wave of fruit-filled cakes. 

Here is a light fruit cake recipe that can be enjoyed the day of! The dried fruit is quite variable, I chose currants, sultanas and glace cherries.

Buttermilk Fruit Cake adapted from Joy of Baking
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cups dried fruit (raisins, currants, dried apricots or glace cherries)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350° C. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, soda and spices. Add in the dried fruits and stir to coat. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine the buttermilk, cooled butter, vanilla and brown sugar. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to combine. Pour batter in the loaf pan and level. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. If the top is getting too dark, cover with foil.

Applesauce Bundt Cake

Thursday, December 1, 2016

This applesauce cake is a wonderfully moist cake that would be a delicious addition to your festive soireƩ! Or that winter hike you've been meaning to do.

Although ring-shaped cakes have been around for centuries, it wasn't until cookware manufacture, Nordic Ware, coined the phrase "bundt" in the 1950s. Since then, numerous designs of bundt pans have been invented, enhancing a simple cake to something quite whimsical.  

Applesauce Bundt Cake adapted from Martha Stewart

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 cups applesauce

Preheat oven to 350°C. 
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Add in the applesauce and combine. Transfer batter to a greased bundt cake. 
Bake for 50 - 60 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Invert from pan onto rack and dust with icing sugar.