Pear Snacking Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

This cake was just calling for all of the Bosc pears that I’ve received in my CSA share recently. I love it when I have all of the ingredients readily availableĀ to make a special treat. šŸ™‚

As a side note, I don’t really understand the idea of a “snacking” cake. This is definitely a CAKE. The brown butter glaze was absolutely essential and absolutely fabulous. Yes, it was easy to eat and, yes, it’s not a fancy layer cake. I also suppose it would be a wonderful snack! We enjoyed it for dessert. šŸ˜‰

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I incorporated whole wheat pastry flour and decreased the amount of fresh nutmeg. I also omitted the nuts. Delicious!

I’m sharing this special “snack” at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #142 this week, co-hosted by Elaine @foodbod and Michelle @O Blog Off. Enjoy! šŸ™‚

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup/227 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature, more to grease the pan
  • 1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/2Ā cup/100 grams dark brown sugar
  • 1 Ā¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ā…› teaspoon ground clove
  • Ā½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 to 4 large pears (2 1/4 pounds/1 kilogram), peeled, cored and shredded or finely chopped (to yield 2 1/2 cups) (I finely chopped the prepared pears in a mini-food processor.)
  • 2 Ā¾ cups/350 grams all-purpose flour (I used 175 g all-purpose flour & 175 g whole wheat pastry flour)
  • Ā¾ cup/75 grams rolled oats
  • Ā½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped, optional

For the Brown Butter Glaze:

  • 5 tablespoons/70 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons/25 grams dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup/125 grams confectionersā€™ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons/45 milliliters heavy cream or milk, more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of coarse salt
  1. Prepare the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-2-inch square or 9-inch-round pan and line bottom with parchment paper. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  2. Using a stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add sugars, baking powder, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and baking soda and beat for 1 minute.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. With the mixer on low, beat in half the pears, and then beat in the flour until smooth.
  6. Beat in remaining pears, then the oats, beating until well incorporated.
  7. Beat in nuts, if using.
  8. Spread batter in the prepared pan and bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed in the center of the cake, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Prepare the glaze: In a small saucepan, melt butter, then let it simmer until the foam on top falls to the bottom of the pot and turns brown, about 3 minutes. It will smell nutty and rich when itā€™s ready.
  10. Whisk in brown sugar until it dissolves.
  11. Whisk in confectionersā€™ sugar, cream, vanilla and salt until youā€™ve got a thick glaze with the texture of hot fudge sauce.
  12. Spread this over the cooled cake. Let the glaze set for at least 2 hours before serving.

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Country Apple Fritter Bread

When I recently saw this recipe on The Company She Keeps– I needed an excuse to make it. ThankfullyĀ we had a surprise snow day! (We seriously didn’t even know that snow was in the forecast… :/ ) I knew it would beĀ the perfect special breakfast.

This recipe was adapted from The Baking Chocolatess.Ā I modified the recipe to incorporate whole wheat pastry flour, unsalted butter, and coarse salt. I also baked the bread in my favorite Pullman loaf pan. Decadent and delicious.

Yield: Serves 8

For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Batter:

  • 2/3 cup granulatedĀ sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tspĀ baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk or almond milk (I used whole milk)

For the Apple Mixture:

  • 2 large apples, peeled and chopped (any kind – I used Pink Lady apples- my favorite!)
  • 2 TĀ granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • walnuts, to taste, optional

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons of milk or creamĀ (depending on desired glaze thickness)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Grease desiredĀ loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Make the Cinnamon Sugar: Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Make the Batter: In theĀ bowl of a stand mixer, beat granulatedĀ sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.
  6. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separateĀ bowl. AddĀ to creamed butter mixture and mixĀ until blended.
  7. AddĀ milk to batter and mix until smooth.
  8. Make the Apple Mixture: Combine chopped apples, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add nuts, if using.
  9. SpreadĀ half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apple mixture, then half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  10. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.
  11. DollopĀ the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
  12. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a knife.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes for a Pullman loaf or 50-60 minutes for a standard loaf.
  14. Make the glaze: Mix the powdered sugar and milk or cream together until desired consistency is achieved. Mix well.
  15. Remove loaf from pan. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

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Whole Wheat Gooseberry & Almond Squares

Gooseberries were completely new to me this summer. When I received my second batch of gooseberries in my CSA share, I was stumped.Ā I thought I had peaked with my Gooseberry & Blueberry Galette. šŸ˜‰ I searched far and wide for a special way to use them. This crumbly, shortbread-like bar was a perfect choice! We ate them for dessert with ice cream, and then ate leftovers for breakfast. They were great with a cup of coffee. šŸ™‚

This recipe was adapted from Good Food Magazine, via BBC’s Good Food.com. I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white self-rising, light brown sugar instead of muscovado, and granulated sugar instead of caster. Earthy and nice.

  • 250 g (2 sticks, 1 cup) chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 125 g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 125 g light brown sugar
  • 350 g fresh gooseberries
  • 85 g granulatedĀ sugar, plus 1-2 T extra for sprinkling
  • 50 g sliveredĀ almonds
  1. Heat oven to 325 F (convection) / 170 C fan. Line a 9 x 13-inch (27 x 18-cm) baking panĀ with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Rub the butter into the flour mixture, ground almonds, and light brown sugar to make crumbs, then firmly press two-thirdsĀ into the base and sides of the prepared pan.
  4. Toss the gooseberries with the granulatedĀ sugar, then scatter over the top.
  5. Mix the flaked almonds into the remaining crumbs, then scatter over the gooseberries.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or up toĀ 1 hour, until golden and the fruit is bubbling a little around the edges.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining granulatedĀ sugar, then cool in the pan.
  8. Cut into squares and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea or serve as a dessertĀ with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

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Skillet Irish Soda Bread

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! WeĀ had our corned beef and cabbage overĀ the weekend with friends, but I had to squeeze in a new soda bread recipe for the big day. I had such a hard time selecting one… Ā baking it in a skillet won. šŸ™‚Ā Apparently authentic Irish soda bread doesn’t contain raisins, butter, or eggs… this version contains all of the above AND sugar. Still festive though! (…maybe just a little tastier… my husband says, “No one wants to eat it without all of that stuff!”) šŸ™‚

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for half of the all purpose flour and omitted the caraway seeds. We cut it into wedges and ate it for breakfast slathered with butter; she recommended eating it with tart apples and aged cheddar cheese which would be a wonderful snack. The outside was crunchy and buttery; the inside moist and sweet. Nice!

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Yield: 1 10-inch loaf

  • unsalted butter for greasing pan plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ā…” cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Ā½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Ā¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 Ā½ cups raisins or currants
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, optional
  • good aged cheddar cheese, for serving
  • tart apples, cut into slices, for serving
  • butter, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (on convection). Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds, if using.
  5. Pour batter into skillet. Brush top with remaining butter. Bake until golden and firm to touch, about 45 minutes on convection or up to 1 hour in a standard oven. Cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving with butter, cheddar and/or apples, as desired.

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Skinny Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread

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Dave of Dave Bakes may not know this, but he convinced me that I needed a 13-inch Pullman loaf pan. šŸ™‚ I couldn’t wait to ask for it for Christmas, so I bought one on Amazon. Yay! It is FABULOUS. I love it!! What a presentation (& shorter baking time!!). This “skinny” bread was its initiation into my kitchen! Nothing better than a surprise special weekday breakfast for the family (& excuse to use my new pan!).

This recipe was adapted from Chez Catey Lou. It was a moist, low-fat, and special autumn treat -especially with the chocolate chips.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2Ā tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (convection). Grease an 8×5-inch loaf pan. (or a 13x4x4-inch Pullman loaf pan)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugars, oil, and eggs until very well combined. Add pumpkin and yogurt and mix well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the loaf pan. Bake for 39 minutes (I started checking the loaf at 35 minutes) in the Pullman pan, on convection, or up to 45 – 55 minutes in a standard pan and/or oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Whole Wheat & Oat Zucchini Bread

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MoreĀ zucchini bread you say? Yes! We haven’t tired of it- it’s so moist and delicious. This Bon Appetit version was unique because of the addition of old-fashioned oats. I modified the recipe to use whole wheat flour and to incorporate chocolate chips. Fabulous for a special breakfast or snack.

Yield: 2 standard loaves

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  • Non-stick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or walnuts (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1Ā¼ cups granulated sugar
  • Ā½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1Ā½ teaspoons coarseĀ salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Ā½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Ā¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3Ā½ cups coarsely grated zucchini (from about 1 lb. zucchini)
  • 1Ā¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350Ā°. Spray two 8 1/2×4 1/2″ loaf pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. (I didn’t use the parchment paper and had no problems with sticking.)
  2. If using, spread walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8ā€“10 minutes; let cool, then coarsely chop.
  3. Whisk eggs, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth.
  4. Whisk flours, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg in another large bowl just to combine. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, add egg mixture, and slowly incorporate dry ingredients with a fork (batter will look dry).
  5. Fold in zucchini, walnuts or chocolate chips (if using), and 1 cup oats. Scrape batter into prepared pans.
  6. Toss raw sugar and remaining 1/4 cup oats in a small bowl. Sprinkle over batter and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes in a convection oven or up to 70ā€“80 minutes in a standard oven. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let bread cool in pans 30 minutes; turn out bread onto rack and let cool completely.

 

Note: Bread can be baked 4 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

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If you like this you may also like:

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

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My daughter LOVES blueberry muffins- it’s hard to resist making them repeatedly during blueberry season! The blueberries were HUGE and bursting inside of these tasty muffins. This classic recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for half of the all-purpose flour and adjusted the baking times for a convection oven. Turbinado sugar could be sprinkled over the muffin tops prior to baking to add a little crunch. Nice.

Yield: Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter or spray a muffin pan with cooking spray; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Working over the bowl, toss the blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 1/2 tsp of the flour mixture to lightly coat; set aside the flour mixture and the blueberries.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on low-speed, add the reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined; do not over mix.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.
  8. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 22 minutes (on convection) or up to 30 minutes in a standard oven.
  9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn the muffins on their sides and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

One Year Ago:

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