This is another post where I tell you how Thatkid and I are different than Thatboy. Today we're going to talk about ginger. Thatboy is not a fan of ginger. Sure he'll put away a gingerbread cookie ro two, but the minute I add ginger to a dish, especially a baked dish, Thatboy turns up his nose and tells me there's too much ginger". It doesn't really matter how much I use - it's always too much.
Thatkid on the other hand, is a huge fan of baked goods with ginger. Which is really surprising given his declaration that almost everything is "too spicy." Black pepper is too spicy. Garlic is too spicy. But ginger? Apparently it passes whatever tastebud test he has.
So this is a cake for Thatkid and I. I had to rescue the pears from both Thatboy and Thatkid who are apparently pear-fiends, with the promise they would be used in a cake. Which was rather cruel given that I knew Thatboy would not be eating the cake. But that's really his loss.
The cake is a simple gingerbread, which I love in the winter. What takes this past the simple gingerbread is the caramelized pear topping. Caramelized anything makes something seem pretty fancy, and this caramel recipe is one of the easiest I've done. Since I have a tendency to ruin caramel.
Fresh Ginger Cake with Caramelized Pears (From A Homemade Life)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup sour cream
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp finely grated, peeled, fresh ginger
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp brandy
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 inch round baking pan with baking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In another medium bowl, combine the molasses, sour cream, melted butter, brown sugar, egg, ginger, and lemon zes tnad wisk until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake 15-20 minutes. Cool the cake in its pan for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
- Peel the pears and cut each lengthwise into 8 wedges, discarding the cores.
- Place them in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.
- In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the pears and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally for 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle them with sugar and continue to cook, shaking the skillet and gently turning the pears, until the sugar is melted and the pears are tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears back to their bowl.
- Boil the sugar butter mixture over medium heat until it turns a deep shade of caramel.
- Combine the water and and cream in a small bowl or cup.
- When the caramel is the right color, remove the skillet from the heat and carefully add the cream mixture.
- Add the brandy and a pinch of slat and return the skillet to the heat. Simmer, stirring until thickened slightly.
- Return the pears to the skillet and cook until heated through.
- Serve the cake in wedges, with a few pieces of pear alongside and caramel drizzled over top.