A few months ago I saw this beautiful spot right next to the water on one of our daily forest walks with Mozart (our little westie, in case you’ve missed him in my instagram stories). I knew I had to have a shoot there at some point because it was just so pretty. But then, life happened and I forgot all about it.
Honestly I have so many ideas all the time, so many things I want to do. It becomes almost too much, and I end up doing nothing – which means staring at my computer screen and all the e-mails I should be responding to and then feeling bad about not being able to and decide to punish myself a little bit more by staring at my screen for another few hours, getting absolutely nothing done. It’s a vicious circle.
So a couple of days ago, after test baking this cake a couple of times – I decided that spot I had found was the perfect place to shoot this cake. Of course it was also the same day we had to service our car so I had to take my bike. I don’t mind at all, I actually LOVE cycling and I don’t drive – but with the cold and the wind and a heavy crate on my bike I almost turned around after a little while. I’m so glad I didn’t though! I forget how much I love shooting outside, and that I was finally able to shoot with these gorgeous pieces from Leu Ceramics (that cup is my new favorite for espresso and in this case, apple juice, hehe).
I was however not able to bring my tripod on my bicycle and I wanted to make a couple of cinemagraphs so I had to build a ‘tripod’ on top of the crate using a 100mm lens, an 85 mm lens, my phone and a tampon. Yeah… don’t even ask. It worked though! Perhaps not the angle I wanted, but still. You can see them right underneath the recipe. As for the recipe, it’s sort of like a soft gingerbread cake, which is one of my favorite things to eat this time of year.
SPICED PEAR CAKE
Makes 1 cake
Choose pears that are quite firm for this cake, or they will become mushy when the cake is baked. I’ve tried this recipe with yogurt and creme fraiche and both work like a charm!
SPICED PEAR CAKE
- 200 g (1 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp.) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 125 g softened salted butter
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- zest from 1 orange
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/8 tsp. vanilla bean powder
- 2 large eggs
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) creme fraiche or thick yogurt, at room temp.
- 5 pears
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
SPICED PEAR CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and flour/breadcrumb a springform pan (about 23 cm/9 inches in diameter).
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, allspice and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, zests and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour in three additions, and the creme fraiche/yogurt in two, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Wash the pears and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut of a little bit of the bottom of the pears so they stand up straight in the batter. If you skip this step, they will tip over. Press the pears down into the batter, stem end up.
- Bake the cake on the lowest rack of the oven for 50-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Start checking around 40 minutes, as you might need to cover the cake with foil if the pears are browning too much.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan, or if you’ve baked in another pan you can leave the cake to cool completely in the pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Really beautiful pictures and the cake looks divine.
Thanks so much Deborah!! Glad you like it 🙂
Julie Snyder says
Oh My Goodness,
this cake is an absolute show-stopper. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kuddos to you and your baking/cycling skills.
That’s so kind of you, Julie! Thank you, haha! :-*
Lisa at celebrate creativity says
Beautiful locale, Linda.
How nice to be able to cycle there. Fresh air, exercise and lovely photos and styling all in one.
Happy day to you.
Thank you, Lisa! Indeed, absolutely the best way to get excercise and fresh air.. and of course cake! Have a great week 🙂
Pictures are just amazing !! Cake looks yummy ?
Thank you so much! It was so nice to sit there and eat a piece before going back 🙂
Ooo! I think I’ll have to give this a try. I tried a recipe last fall for a poached pear bread but the pears kept falling over and were so mushy the bread didn’t bake very well from all the extra moisture of the already poached pears. I loved the idea but it just didn’t work out, and this looks like an improvement on everything I had problems with. I can’t wait to give t a try, love your pictures!
Yay! Glad you will give it a try 🙂 There’s definitely no reason to poach the pears before (which I assume was the case with the recipe you made?) as they get perfectly baked inside the cake! And I had the same problem with them falling over until I realized I could cut off the bottoms. Thank you for your kind words!
Divine photos and have printed and can’t wait to try it out
Thanks so much for your lovely recipe
Thank you so much for your kind words, Cary! Hope you will like the cake 🙂
Laura Navarro says
Linda this cake and these pictures are great, stunning! I love the spot as well, I almost felt there smelling the cake. It’s my eyes or in the last two pictures the leaves are waving as there was wind? How could you do that? I admire your work!
Thank you so much, Laura! So kind of you 🙂 And yes, you are absolutely right – the last two photos are moving. I make cinemagraphs in Photoshop, super fun! Kisses
Hannah Choo says
I’m always so captivated by your photos. May I know where I can get baking pans like the one you have in your pictures?
Thank you so much Hannah!! I got it from Etsy, you should be able to find similar ones on ebay also if you search ‘swans down cake pan’. 🙂