Salted caramel pear cake

BBC Good Food - - Weekend -

This spiced cake has it all: moist, fra­grant sponge, silky Ital­ian meringue tahini but­ter­cream and sharp, mor­eish, pear-laced salted caramel.

SERVES 12 PREP 1 hr COOK 50 mins A CHAL­LENGE V

2cm piece gin­ger, grated 4 Wil­liams pears, 3 grated over a sieve, re­serv­ing the pear juice for the caramel, 1 peeled, cored and chopped (do this when about to dec­o­rate) 360g self-rais­ing flour 15g rye flour

1 tsp ground gin­ger

1/2 tsp each turmeric, nut­meg, ground car­damom and cin­na­mon 1 tsp bak­ing pow­der

4 eggs

200g golden caster sugar 150g light brown mus­co­v­ado sugar, sieved 150ml rape­seed or veg­etable oil

120g nat­u­ral yo­gurt

toasted buck­wheat, de­hy­drated pear and rose­mary, to serve (op­tional) for the pear salted caramel 50g un­salted but­ter, plus ex­tra for the tins 50ml re­served pear juice 150ml perry

100g light brown mus­co­v­ado sugar

1 tbsp dou­ble cream gen­er­ous pinch sea salt for the ic­ing

4 egg whites

250g golden caster sugar 250g but­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture

2 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

1 Heat oven to 195C/175C fan/gas 51/2. But­ter and line the base of three 20cm round cake tins. Add the grated gin­ger to the grated pear and push down with a wooden spoon to squeeze out as much juice as pos­si­ble.

2 Mix the flours, spices, bak­ing pow­der and 1 tsp salt in a bowl. In a stand mixer, vig­or­ously whisk the eggs and sug­ars for 3 mins un­til thick and frothy. Slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream. Turn the speed down, then add the flour mix­ture, 2 tbsp at a time, al­ter­nat­ing with the yo­gurt, un­til in­cor­po­rated. Mix in the grated pear (for no longer than 20 secs). Di­vide the mix­ture be­tween the tins and bake for 25-30 mins or un­til a skewer in­serted comes out dry.

3 For the caramel, heat the pear juice and perry in a pan un­til re­duced to about 50ml. Add the sugar and but­ter and whisk to a smooth caramel, then add the cream and whisk again un­til smooth. Add sea salt to your taste – I’d go for a gen­er­ous pinch, so that the caramel is still fruity and sharp but has a lit­tle salti­ness to it – then al­low to cool slightly to just warmer than room temp. 4 To make the but­ter­cream, put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a pan of boil­ing wa­ter, then whisk un­til the sugar dis­solves and the mix­ture is no longer gritty. Put the bowl in the mixer, then whisk un­til soft peaks form and the bowl re­turns to room tem­per­a­ture. Switch to the pad­dle at­tach­ment, then add the but­ter, one spoon­ful at a time. Add the tahini, vanilla and a pinch of salt, and beat to a light, fluffy ic­ing.

5 Place the bot­tom layer of sponge on a plat­ter or cake stand, then top with a layer of the but­ter­cream and scat­ter over a third of the chopped pear. Re­peat with the next two lay­ers. To ice the cake, do an in­tial layer all over, chill in the fridge for 20 mins, then use the re­main­ing ic­ing to cover ev­ery­thing. Use a stepped spat­ula to spread it out evenly. Pour the caramel over the top of the cake, and al­low it to drip down the sides. Scat­ter with toasted buck­wheat, de­hy­drated pear and rose­mary, if you like.

PER SERV­ING (12) 743 kcals • fat 38g • sat­u­rates 16g • carbs 89g • sug­ars 66g • fi­bre 3g • pro­tein 8g • salt 1.5g

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