November 17, 2015

Pear cardamom cake with brown butter frosting & chocolate glaze



Ok, so I'm officially in Christmas mode from now on. I took the plunge yesterday and started listening to Christmas music.. I felt kind of guilty for some reason. Lit candles, clementines and Christmas music is the best way to get myself into the spirit so that's what I've been doing even though it's still quite early (who am I kidding, bring on the Christmas tree already!).
And obviously, this cake which really is the best cake I've had in a while. It might not look like much but, oh, those flavors! Again with the cardamom, I know, but I just can't help myself. And browned butter, pear and chocolate of course.

This weekend I was lucky enough to have my sweet friend Joann Pai visit me in my little town. We had a really great time together, shooting, talking, eating cake, pancakes, cinnamon buns, Indian food and whatnot. Funny thing is, I'm just so used to working alone that I get kind of nervous when someone is watching me work. I'm almost asking for permission to move things around, like "Ok, so I'm gonna put this here....?". I'm glad we were able to get some shots of the cake since the weather wasn't showing its' best side that day. We were also glad to have this cake, obviously.











PEAR CARDAMOM CAKE
WITH BROWN BUTTER FROSTING & CHOCOLATE GLAZE
Serves 8-10
Cake recipe adapted from StylesweetCA


INGREDIENTS
CAKE
1 1/2 cups (225 g) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup (225 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) corn oil or canola oil (I very much prefer corn oil)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup (75 ml) sour cream
1 cup grated pears, drained (about 2 unpeeled pears)


BROWN BUTTER FROSTING
2 sticks (225 g) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (90 g) powdered sugar
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
pinch of salt
3 tbsp heavy cream


CHOCOLATE GLAZE
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp (15 g) butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
35 g semi sweet or dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp cognac (can be omitted and replaced with 1 tbsp heavy cream)


INSTRUCTIONS
CAKE
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and flour two 5-inch (12-13 cm) cake pans.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and sugar. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk together oil, egg, egg yolk and sour cream.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until smooth. Add the grated pear.
5. Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes (if you're using a 6-inch pan, start checking around 30 minutes) or until a cake tester comes out clean.
6. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans to cool completely.


BROWN BUTTER FROSTING
1. Place butter in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir until it melts completely.
2. Continue cooking, stirring frequently until the milk solids turn brown and the butter smells nutty, about 5-10 minuter longer. Take care not to burn (it will continue to brown even after you remove it from the heat, so take it off early).
3. Scrape the melted butter and browned bits into a small bowl and chill until almost solidified but still soft enough to be beaten with an electric mixer (about 20-30 minutes in the freezer, an hour or so in the fridge).
4. Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the powdered sugar, cardamom and salt and beat until completely smooth and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the cream until frosting is fluffy.

ASSEMBLY
1. If cakes are rounded on top, even out with a knife. Cut both cakes in half using a sharp serrated knife (you'll end up with four layers). Put the first layer on a cake board or a cake stand. Spread frosting on the first layer. Add the next layer and repeat until you've used up all four layers
2. Spread frosting all over the cake. If the cake feels unstable, put the cake in the fridge while you prepare the glaze.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE
1. Put cream, honey, butter and cocoa powder in a sauce pan. Heat until very hot but not boiling. Remove pan from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth. Add the cognac if using.
2. Let glaze cool. If you find that the glaze is too thick to pour when cool, reheat it very carefully - just make sure it's not warm when you pour it over the cake.
3. Pour glaze over the cake and spread it out with an offset spatula to make sure it runs down the sides.
4. Leave cake in room temperature for 15 minutes before serving to make sure the buttercream isn't hard.


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37 comments:

  1. High five for Christmas mode!! This cake is an unstoppable beauty. Love those pears on top!

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  2. I'm getting so frustrated now that I have barely time to bake. Because of your photo's I started photographing and I even started a photography study! I would love to become a food photographer. But because of that I don't have time to bake. So many problems, haha.
    Anyhow, this cake looks amazing and I bet it tastes amazing as well. Can't wait to try this recipe!

    Sam

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  3. I made your gorgeous triple chocolate cake the other day and my husband still hasn't shut up about how amazing it was. He keeps asking me to make it again. If he sees this cake I am in big trouble!! Absolutely stunning and wonderfully inspirational, as always! <3

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  4. Samma här! Underbara foton...kram Diana

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  5. I'm in Christmas mode too! I'm just so looking forward to baking and decorating this year. We've already hung a wreath on our door and I've been itching to put up our tree. This cakes looks scrumptious!

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  6. So beautiful as always, Linda! Seeing new posts from you makes me so happy -- both this cake and your apple muffins are gorgeous. And a super belated CONGRATS on your fourth book!!!! YAY!

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  7. What a beautiful meeting, what a beautiful cake! I dream about it!! Congrats, it's a beautiful shooting. But that, its usual ;)

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  8. Beautiful! Bring on Christmas I say! x

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  9. I don't know which is more beautiful, the cake or your incredible photos. How I wish to be a more competent food photographer.

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  10. Did I just read you saying this cake doesn't look like much? It is so incredibly beautiful! And the chocolate wrapping the pears is mesmerizing! And Christmas couldn't come any sooner... :)

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  11. Yay for Christmas baking!! Best baking season of the year :) This cake looks incredible, as usual--love the chocolate glaze, I'm sure it goes wonderfully with the pears!

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  12. Hehe! I was thinking about our Christmas tree as of November 1st. I am really feeling like getting all holiday-ish this year. Just warm and cozy with lots of baking and spending time with friends and family. How fun you got to hang out with Joanne! I've never met her but follow her beautiful work, of course! I know what you mean about having someone there while you work ... I also am so used to working alone! It makes me feel self conscious. But I am inspired now to do it more, thanks to your post! It's neat to see what other photographers or stylists see through their lens. This cake, and these photos, are so darkly moody and gorgeous! Love it as always, Linda! You continue to inspire me and so many others! XOXO

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    1. Hehe, why not November 1st though? Christmas always flies by way too fast.. It would be a great idea to start early. At least Mid November ;-)
      Joann is sooo sweet! I hope you get to meet her some day, and I hope I get to meet you soon!! Hope all is well with you and your family. XOXO

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  13. this cake looks sooo good!! wish we could have a piece now :) <3

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  14. Wow! I am having such a fan-girl moment over here seeing that you adapted my recipe! I have always been such a HUGE fan of your work - this is very exciting for me, hehe. The cake looks gorgeous and the photos are just as stunning as ever.

    Happy Holidays!

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    1. Tessa, I'm a huge fan of YOUR work! This will not be the last time I adapt one of your recipes, this cake is one of my favorites ever!! Thank you for your sweet comment (and recipe!) and happy holidays! :-*

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  15. Hello Linda :) I love your blog! And your beautiful cakes and recipes!!
    Your photos are wonderful! ♥
    A kiss from Italy :)
    Ilaria

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    1. Thank you so much, you are so sweet!!<3 xo Linda

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  16. This looks so good an yummy. I will give it a try and see how it`s gonna be. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks!! Hope you will enjoy it :-)

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  17. This cake is amazing. Pear and chocolate pairing is always delicious. Gorgeous photos as always!

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    1. Thank you so much Kristina! This was my first time pairing pear with chocolate :-)

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  18. Such an incredible cake - LOVE the sound of a brown butter frosting, and how you added grated pear to the cake itself. Your photography is so dark and moody as well, just beautiful - really reflects the autumn/winter season.

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    1. Thank you so much, Claudia!! I adore brown butter frosting, it adds such depth! :-)

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  19. I made your cake for friendsgiving last night and it was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing! My one question is, "How did you get the chocolate so smooth on the pears?!" My chocolate just wanted to slide off! I tried to apply small amounts and then put the pears in the freezer and then applied more and repeated!


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    1. Yay, SO glad you enjoyed it!
      Hmm, that's strange I must say, as I had no problem with it.. Could it have to do with the surface of the pears? My pears were matte, perhaps the chocolate would slide off a shiny surface? That is just a guess though.. haha

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  20. Amazing photos and tasty cake. I've tried to do it yesterday, but can't enter image here. If you are intersting see here http://milk-n-biscuits.livejournal.com/10567.html I hope my English is not very bad :)

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    1. Wow, you did an amazing job on that cake!! Perfect!

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  21. Hello Linda,
    This looks deliscious. I'm just not sure about the butter. Do you let it cook for 10 minutes without stiring? It almost sounds like making clarified butter.
    I just bought your book and I like it so very much.
    Greatings, Ann

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    1. Hi Ann!
      Thank you so much :-) I'm glad you like my book!
      No, I stir the butter frequently and it can take up to ten minutes for the milk solids to turn brown. I usually make clarified butter at a lower heat than brown butter.
      Best, Linda

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  22. Hej Linda! Hoppas att du kan svara på min fråga... Jag testade att göra denna tårta till en familjemiddag, och den blev jättegod! Det enda som bekymrade mig (och som har hänt tidigare) är att bottnarna blev väldigt platta och inte alls lika tjocka och fina som dina. När jag skulle skära dem på mitten blev dom ännu tunnare och hela min tårta blev som halva din på höjden. Jag hade inte glömt någon ingrediens och bottnarna var 15x15. Några tips?

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    1. Hej Stefani! Så roligt att du gillade tårtan! :-)
      Men vad märkligt.. Är det en rund form du använder? Det skulle kunna vara är att smeten vispades för länge, att ugnen inte är tillräckligt varm eller att bakpulvret är gammalt, men jag tänker att det inte skulle påverka såpass mycket att tårtan blir hälften så hög.. Var konsistensen ok annars?

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  23. Thinking of making a large version of this for a wedding cake!

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  24. I made it and it's really ugly but hey, at least it hopefully tastes good, yours is gorgeous.

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