Saturday, January 19, 2013

Honey Cake with Caramelized Pears

Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons best-quality honey
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Freshly whipped cream, or nondairy whipped topping, for serving (optional)
1.   Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside. Mix eggs and sugars on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and thick, about 3 minutes.
2.   Whisk together honey, milk, oil, and zest. With mixer on low, add honey mixture to egg mixture; mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add half the flour mixture; mix until smooth. Mix in remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into pan.
3.   Bake until dark golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of cake; carefully remove sides of pan.Transfer cake to a platter. Top with pears. Serve with whipped cream or topping, if desired.

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