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A Pair of Pear Desserts

A Pair of Pear Desserts

Pear Desserts

When I take my girls to the grocery store with me they, like I guess many children do, ask me to buy things for them. Depending on what they ask for, I will allow their request, especially if the request is for a bag of fresh pears. That is how I found myself making a pair of pear desserts.

I have never been a fan of pears. The texture has always been a little bit off-putting to me. Daughter Number Four is huge into fresh fruits and vegetables, including pears. I picked up a paper bag full of the fresh pears and put a couple into the fruit bowl and kept the rest in the paper bag. A couple got eaten, but I noticed that the rest were  getting soft.

The Puff Pastry Pear Tart was so good, and the four of us ate the entire thing!

I still had pears left and knew that if I didn’t use them soon I would just have to throw them away. I asked Daughter Number Three, who has started doing more cooking and baking, if she wanted to bake a pear cake. She was immediately up and ready to go. I got to work prepping the pears and she started whipping it up! After I had found a recipe that sounded tasty and easy. I am extremely proud of my girl! She did such an awesome job, and I was mostly directing the show!

Both of the pear desserts turned out wonderfully and I will not be hesitant to buy pears in the future.

 

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Puff Pastry Pear Tart

  • Puff Pastry (1 sheet)
  • 2 fresh pears (sliced)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Turbinado Sugar
  • ¼ cup honey (divided)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Thaw and roll out 1 puff pastry according to directions on a prepared baking pan. 

  3. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar, and half of the honey over the puff pastry. 

  4. Lay the sliced pears out onto the puff pastry in a circular pattern from the inside working outward to about 1 ½ inches from the edge. 

  5. Fold the edges of pastry over, just covering the edges of the pears. 

  6. Pour the remainder of the honey over the pears. 

  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly. 

  8. Cool slightly and serve while still warm.

This would be good with whipped cream, or sliced cheese.

Pear Cake

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup butter (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely grated (finely chopped pears, with skin)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  

  2. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. 

  3. In a large bowl stir together flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

  4. In a large mixer bowl (or another large bowl) beat the eggs. Mix in the brown sugar until smooth and thick. Mix in the melted butter and vanilla. 

  5. Incorporate the flour mixture into the egg mixture slowly, without over mixing. 

  6. Gently fold in the pears. 

  7. Spoon batter into prepared Bundt pan. 

  8. Bake for about one hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

  9. Place on wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes. 

  10. Turn out onto plate.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in Recipe

 

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Chocolate Caramel Cake – Birthday Deliciousness

Chocolate Caramel Cake – Birthday Deliciousness

Chocolate Caramel Cake

On Tuesday I shared that we were celebrating Daughter Number 3’s 12th birthday! I failed to mention that it was her Golden Birthday! She turned 12 on the 12th!

One of our family traditions that I have continued since my own childhood is the birthday dinner. The birthday girl (or boy) gets to pick what they want to eat for their birthday dinner. They also get to choose the birthday cake. The tradition is also to make the birthday cake as opposed to buying it. There have been times we have broken from tradition, but that is a rarity.

When I asked Daughter Number 3 what she wanted for dinner she asked for homemade Macaroni and Cheese, with a side of “Little Smokies”. Although I tried to explain to her that she had that backward, but that didn’t work. So I agreed to make her Macaroni and Cheese with a side of “Little Smokies”.

She also asked for an ice cream cake (from a chain whose name is somewhat royal). I told her that this year we would opt for making a cake, not buying one so she told me that she would have to think on it for a bit. A short time later she came back to me. Could I make a chocolate caramel cake? While I hadn’t ever made one that didn’t mean I couldn’t.

I have a go-to chocolate cake recipe that is one of the moistest and easiest chocolate cakes to make. Ever. It is a mayonnaise cake recipe that I found more than 25 years ago when I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe for someone with milk allergies. My dad helped me find it, and I have used it ever since. For the filling between the layers I decided to do Dulce de Leche. My initial plan was to cover the outside with Ganache, however Daughter Number 3 she said she preferred buttercream. I asked if she wanted a chocolate buttercream and she asked for caramel buttercream. I obliged.

It was a delicious cake and I am so glad she asked for it! I have learned some new tricks that I will be using forever, and I learned a little bit more about baking, filling, and frosting cakes.

Whenever a recipe calls for Dulce de Leche I make my own. While I typically make it on my stove top in a stockpot, I decided to change it up. Recently I read that you can make my delicious kind of caramel using a slow cooker so that’s what I did.

 

 

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For this cake I made 3 thin round cakes out of the batter. After they had cooled I covered layers one and two with the Dulce de Leche. I then covered the top of the third layer and the sides of the cake with the Caramel Buttercream. My family would definitely eat this cake, prepared exactly the same way, again.

It's so good Daughter Number 4 ate it with both hands!

It’s so good Daughter Number 4 ate it with both hands!

If you are getting ready to make a birthday cake for someone and want it to be a little bit different, you should absolutely try this combination of chocolate and caramel-y goodness! If you are simply looking for a delicious and easy to make chocolate cake, I recommend That Mayonnaise Cake above all others!

That Mayonnaise Cake

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Grease and flour cake pans.

  3.  Combine all ingredients. Beat hard 2 minutes. 

  4. Pour into prepared cake pans. 

  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

  6. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes, and turn out of pans onto rack to cool completely.

Makes 2 9-inch cakes.

 

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/3 can sweetened condensed milk (caramelized (see notes))
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Sea salt
  1. Cream softened butter in a glass bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.   

  2. Add in the caramelized milk. 

  3. Cream until well mixed.

  4. Add powdered sugar, about ½ cup at a time, mixing well between add-ins. 

  5. When you have reached your desired consistency (you made want more sugar, or less) add in vanilla and sea salt. Mix until blended.

  6. Use to frost cooled cake.

Easy Caramel

  • 1 can  of Sweetened Condensed Milk

Remove the label from the can. Place the can in the crock of the slow cooker. Fill with water to about an inch over the top of the can. Cook on slow for up 7-8 hours. Turn off slow cooker. Remove can and cool. Open can, pour caramel into bowl, whip with an electric mixer until creamy. If you want salted caramel, grind in some sea salt. Stir.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Brown Sugar Cakes with Cherries

Brown Sugar Cakes with Cherries

It’s cherry season again. Daughter Number One came home for a few days visit. She was so excited when I told her that my parents’ cherry tree was loaded that we went right down and started picking cherries. We got a nice first little picking. We took the cherries from my parents’ house back to mine and got to pitting.

In all of our excitement we hadn’t even thought about what we were going to make. I I perused the web and found a recipe that sounded simple and delicious! It was a huge hit with everyone! We will definitely be making these again!

If you have a few fresh cherries, this is such a great way to use them! These orts are going to make it back onto our table very soon! I think Daughter Number One will make some at her house very soon, too. She took some fresh cherries home when she left!

 

Brown Sugar Cakes with Cherries

  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons dry milk reconstituted in 2 Tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60 cherries
  • 2 Tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. 

  2. In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With a mixer cream the shortening and brown sugar until smooth. 

  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Scrape sides of bowl. 

  4. Beat in milk and vanilla, then flour mixture. 

  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling cups about 1/3 full. Place 5 cherries on top of each cake and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. 

  6. Bake until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. 

  7. Let cool 5 minutes in tin. Use a rubber spatula to run around the edge of each cake to loosen. 

  8. Release cakes onto a wire rack, cherry side up. 

  9. Cool slightly and serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

 

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2014 in Baking Recipes

 

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Apricot Upside Down Cake

Apricot Upside Down Cake

Several weeks ago the apricots hit the peak of their perfection. I had so many fresh apricots, and not so many fresh hours! So I gave quite a few to family members and know that Brother Number 2 made apricot barbecue sauce out of some he was given. What did I do? I made an apricot upside down cake.

It was so exciting to me, because I  have never made any type of fruit upside down cake before, so this was a completely new process for me. I enlisted the help of some of my daughters. Daughter Number Four helped me (watched me) pit and halve the apricots. I, of course, picked the largest and prettiest ones for this. I knew the rest would end up in something that did not have to look pretty.

Daughter Number Two helped with the heavy lifting, and as a guide to apricot placement (because I needed that?). I did need the help with lifting the skillet a couple of times. Cast iron is much heavier than I remember! She was especially helpful when it came time to plate the cake. We managed to do it perfectly and it looked picture perfect.

I found a recipe online and followed it to the letter. The girls were all giving me a bit of a hard time about ‘apricot’ cake. If I was going to make a cake why couldn’t it be chocolate or at least something without fruit. As for Daughter Number Three, she dislikes apricots possibly more than she dislikes other fruits. Their tart or sour taste just gives her the shivers! She was especially nonplussed that I was making this cake. I’m not sure she ever even tried it! Her loss.

I was quite certain The Hubs would be thrilled! His initial reaction was a little off the mark I was expecting. Four pieces later (not in one sitting) I’m pretty sure he came around to the apricot upside down cake. He is already looking forward to next apricot season when we can make this again! He might even be thinking of hitting up the farmer’s market or supermarket to see if he can find some fresh apricots.

Heck, he might be thinking of alternative fruits to use (peaches, nectarines, etc.). I think a person could put a little whipped cream on top or even some vanilla ice cream. I certainly didn’t need any on the pieces I had…but a person could.

Here is the link to the orapcake2iginal. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fresh-Apricot-Upside-Down-Cake-108370

 

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Dessert Recipes

 

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