Pear Spice Layer Cake with Pear Caramel Buttercream

Okay, okay, okay, I’m back. Promise. So lets get right back to business with a recipe! Yay!

I made this layer cake at school for Bistro 101‘s lunch service. It was a big success. One of the customers even said it was “the best spice cake I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten a LOT of spice cakes in my life.” Not to toot my own horn too loud or anything, but hey, that’s kinda special, I think ;D.

Anyways, I found the original recipe online, on a blog called Brave Tart. I tweaked it slightly and then plated it with cherry coulis, chocolate “paint”, pear caramel and pear chips. I kinda think it looked great, but you can be your own judge.

The cake is super moist and delicious, and the butter cream has the perfect hint of pear caramel – not too over powering – and is luscious and wonderful. I plan on using this spice cake recipe next time I make carrot cake, by replacing the pears with carrot, changing up the spices a little, and perhaps adding some shredded coconut, walnuts and pineapple. Mmmm, and of course, I’d replace the butter cream with cream cheese icing – which I have my very own recipe for! That’s got to happen soon and I’ll be sure to make a post about it.

Anyways, here’s some photos and my version of the recipe (below):

Pear Spice Cake

700g under ripe pears (whole)
8g baking soda
4g salt
7g cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
5g ginger
227g AP flour
200g sugar
100g brown sugar
3 eggs
115g vegetable oil
58oz butter, melted
8g vanilla extract

Clean, core and shred pears. Using cheese cloth, squeeze all excess liquid from them (you should end up with about half a cup of juice). Reserve (separately) both the shredded pear and the extracted juice.

Preheat oven to 325/350 degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, spices and flour) and set aside. In a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (ribbon stage). This should take a few minutes. With the mixer still running on medium, slowly add the vegetable oil, then the melted butter and vanilla extract. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Fold in the shredded pear.

Pour batter into a prepared 8in cake ring, lined with parchment, greased and lightly floured. A spring-form cake pan would work well too. Bake until browned, springs back to touch and a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean (about 45 minutes).

When the cake has fully cooled, split into 3 even layers. Fill/ice with Caramel Pear Butter Cream…

Part 1: Pear Caramel
200g sugar
45mL water
250g heavy cream
50g butter
pinch salt
125g pear juice (reserved from spice cake)

In a medium saucepan, add water. Pour sugar in centre. Set over high heat. Cook to golden brown, swirling as it begins to colour. Add butter immediately, then the cream, gradually. Add the pear juice last. Season with salt to bring out the flavour/sweetness. Cover and set aside to cool completely.

Part 2: Butter Cream
190g egg whites
190g sugar
30mL water
5g vanilla extract
600g butter, room temp, cut into small pieces
375g pear caramel

Place sugar and water into a small saucepan. Cook to 119 degrees. Meanwhile, begin beating the egg whites until frothy. When the sugar reaches temperature, slowly stream into the still beating egg whites. Turn the speed up to high and beat mixture until no longer hot to touch. Slowly begin to add the butter, piece by piece. Do not add too quickly or the mixture can split. Add the pear caramel (recipe above) and vanilla extract last. Voila!

Hope you enjoyed this long belated post.. See you soon!