Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chocolate, Pear and Mascarpone Cake

A coupe of week ago, I put a bucket of pears from my parents' garden to very good use.  I made a huge batch of Pear Puree which I froze in batches, knowing I'd find something very delicious to make with it all. The first recipe was a Pear Frangipane Tart and that was very well received indeed.  Because I've been away a good bit, I had temporarily lost my baking mojo but I soon rediscovered it last weekend.

The recipe to get me back in the groove brought together a delicious soft chocolatey sponge cake, a batch of the pear puree and some creamy mascarpone cheese (with a slug of pear liqueur for the grown ups).  You can make this in the afternoon and have a very impressive cake with not very much effort at all by teatime.  What's not to love???

Chocolate, Pear and Mascarpone Cake

225g Butter, very soft
225g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
175g Self Raising Flour
50g Cocoa
2 tsp Baking Powder

Grease and line two 8-inch loose bottomed tins with baking parchment.  Preheat your oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4.

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one to make sure it mixes really well with the butter and sugar.

Now add the vanilla, flour, cocoa and baking powder, folding in well so there's no pockets of dry mixture anywhere in the cake.

Divide between the two tins and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Rest in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Now it's Pear and Mascarpone time... The filling is pretty simple

Pear Mascarpone Icing

250g Mascarpone (1 tub)
65g Icing Sugar
1 tbsp Poire William liqueur (leave this out for kids)
300g Pear Puree

In a large bowl, mix the mascarpone, icing sugar, Poire William liqueur and 200g of the pear puree together until smooth.

Spread the remaining 100g of pear puree over the bottom layer of the cake.

Dollop the pear mascarpone icing on top and sandwich with the top cake layer. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.


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