Salted Pear-amel Cake

Last weekend, I made one of the best cakes I have ever made.  This ish was just-barely-salted caramel soaked through a cake full of cinnamon and pears.  Despite the indisputable fact that raw pears taste like apple’s sad, grainy cousin, they cook beautifully and match well with the hint of salt in this buttery beauty of a cake.

This cake is a simple one – one of those “mix all the ingredients together and bake” babies, with just the shade of extra work of cooking the caramel on the stove.  I used a buttered spring form pan, but I bet a bundt pan would work just as well.

Cake ingredients:

  1. 1 cup of white sugar
  2. 1 cup of brown sugar
  3. 3 eggs, beaten
  4. 1 cup melted butter
  5. 2 tsps vanilla
  6. 3 cups all purpose flour
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
  9. 2 tsps cinnamon
  10. 4 cups of diced pears

Mix everything together, starting from the top of the list and adding ingredients in order, mixing as you go.  You’ll end up with a pretty sticky batter, not traditionally liquidy cake batter:

Smooth it out as best you can and stick it in your oven (pre-heated to 350) for … a long time.  I was thinking this would be done in 30 – 40 minutes, but it took almost an hour in my oven. Check it every five minutes or so after the 40 minute mark, using the does-a-fork-come-out-clean method of testing doneness.

Caramel Topping:

In a stovetop pan, combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar (I used dark muscado sugar for this, because I like the flavour), 1/4 cup milk, and 1/4 cup salted butter.  Bring it to a low simmer, stirring constantly.  Keep the simmer up for about 3 minutes.

Pour caramel over the cake (yep, right into the pan) and return the cake to the over for another five minutes or so.  Pull it out and let it cool for a few minutes before flipping it onto your cool, excellent cake tray.

The salted butter in the caramel gives this cake just the slightest hint of salt to combat all the sweetness.  This cake was a huge hit with my family, and I bet it would go over well with any group that can live with pears and cinnamon and a lack of colourful icing.  It also allows you to combine pear and caramel into one cheerful portmanteau, which is really the goal of any good recipe, no?

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