Easy Dessert Cake Recipe: Pear Cake

Pear CakeBake a pear cake when pears are in season for an elegant treat after healthy dinner or lunch. Pear cake also pairs excellently with tea and makes a sweet snack in the afternoon. It is especially delicious with vanilla or caramel ice cream. In easy healthy recipes, pear cake batter is made with flour, eggs, sugar, ground cinnamon, vegetable oil, baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, flaked coconut, dates, fresh pears, and pecans. The result is a light and airy cake with a pleasant crunch and just the right amount of sweetness. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar or icing for a beautiful presentation. You can also top it with whipped cream or cover it with ice cream and store in the freezer for an irresistible ice cream cake.

Fresh pears are highly perishable so once they are ripe they should be consumed or processed immediately. Pears sold in the market are generally unripe and need to be matured for a few days before they can be eaten or used for cooking and for baking cake. When selecting pears for use in this recipe look for pears that are not too hard but firm with smooth skin free of mold, dark soft spots, and bruises. Good quality pears have streaks and speckled patches on the skin, which often indicates a more potent flavor.

Ingredients: 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 ½ cups vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 2 cups flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped dates, 3 cups fresh pears, chopped, 1 cup pecans, chopped, Powdered sugar (optional)

Preparation Instructions:  Pear Cake2

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the sugar and oil. One at a time, add the eggs. In a separate bowl, blend the flour and cinnamon. Add the salt and soda and mix well. Gradually add this mixture to the sugar mixture. Add the vanilla and mix. Fold in the coconut, dates, pears, and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack until the cake shrinks away from the sides of the pan. Invert the pan to remove the cake and continue cooling it on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

To determine whether the pear is already ripe, gently press on the top of the fruit, near the stem. If it gives in to a bit of pressure, then it is optimally ripe. If the flesh is too soft and almost squishy then the pear is overripe. Overripe pears can be made into jams, sauces, or pureed and added to batters for pancakes, muffins, breads and the like. For the best flavor, texture and maximum nutrition and safety choose certified organic pears.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

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Easy Dessert Cake Recipe: Citrus Cake

Citrus Cake2This soft, light and refreshing citrus cake is perfect for summer days. A combination of fresh lemon and orange juice, as well as lemon and orange peel is used to make this simple recipe, adapted from Sedgewood Book of Baking. To make the citrus cake easy desserts you also need flour, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, and eggs. The cake is glazed with a citrus icing made with butter, sugar, fresh orange juice and grated orange peel. The thin icing makes the top crisp and gives it extra sweetness and added citrus flavor. Best served on the day it is made, citrus cake makes an elegant treat for garden parties or summer healthy dinner meals.

For a smooth and even batter, use an electric mixer for making the batter. This recipe uses the creaming method to achieve a light and fluffy cake. This is the process of beating the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. When beating the ingredients, do so at low speed first to prevent spattering, gradually increasing the speed to blend the ingredients well. Sift all the dry ingredients for a more accurate measurement. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients to avoid clumping and to make sure that every bit of flour is moistened.

Ingredients: 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¾ cup butter, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 4 eggs (separated), 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 2 teaspoons grated orange peel, ¾ cup fresh orange juice

For the Glaze: 3 tablespoons butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice, 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

Preparation Instructions: Citrus Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch cake pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy. One at a time, add the egg yolks. Add lemon juice, lemon peel, and orange peel. Alternately add a little of the flour mixture with a little or the orange juice, until just blended. In a separate mixer bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture by hand. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn the pan upside down and turn the cake out onto the wire rack to completely cool. To make the glaze, melt the butter in the microwave. Allow to cool a few minutes, then, a little at a time, stir in the powdered sugar. Stir in the orange juice, a little at a time. Stir in the orange peel. When the cake is cool, spoon the glaze over the cake and let it sit for 10 minutes. Spoon the remaining glaze over the cake. Let the cake sit until the glaze is dry.

When making citrus cake, it is best to use shiny aluminum pans since they reflect the heat away and produce a tender texture and light brown crust. Dark, glass or nonstick baking pans absorb more heat and cause the cake to brown faster. Grease and flour the pan before adding the batter to make it easier to take the cake out when it is baked and cooled. Allow the cake to cool for about ten minutes before removing the cake from the pan. To remove the cake, place a towel over the wire rack and place the whole with the towel side on the top of the cake. Turn everything together over to remove the cake from the pan.

Source: www.gourmandia.com