I must tell you now that this cake is so good! I had some expectations about this cake, having heard from Monica and Rose that it is good. I am still surprised though, not because I don't believe them, but simply because I did not expect it to be this good!
But first, let's start at the beginning. It started with beautiful free range eggs and butter.
Rose said the frangipane should be refrigerated for an hour. I left for the farmer's market.
Back from the market, I proceeded with the recipe. Some hesitation about making 1/2 recipe or not. It is usually my MO but this time I wonder. Decided that as the cake has no frosting I will make the whole recipe. Plus it will give me a chance to use my fleur-de-lis pan, which is the main reason for baking a bundt cake to begin with :)).
First I peel, core, and slice the pear. Mix it with a bit of lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Then the batter. Pretty straightforward. The usual sour cream cake. Mix the eggs, some sour cream, and vanilla until combined. Dry ingredients goes into the mixer bowl. Mix in the rest (or the majority, I should say) of the sour cream and butter. Then add in the egg mixture in two additions, beating until incorporated.
Rose said to pour all the batter into the pan, then dig a 1/4 inch depression in the middle around the cake and put the almond cream there. It sounded easy except this batter is pretty fluid. I first try to dig around the cake, only to have the cake flow back to fill the depression. I try to do this again. Same result. Then I dig a bit part, put the cream in, dig again, put the cream in, and so on. Only after that I read the recipe and find out that Rose did say that you need to continuously do this. Duh! This is what happens when I try to read fast.
Next, top the cream with the pear slices.
I remember reading somewhere that upon baking the almond cream and pear will sink to the bottom. I think. Not sure where I read this or if I remember correctly, I try to take some of the batter from the sides cover the pear. Visions of burnt pear flashes across my head. Not something I want to experience.
I am not very successful in hiding the pears, but at least they are less visible.
It seems all is well because after 45 minutes, this is what it looked like.
Look at that crumb!
A slice of heaven! So good. Soft, moist, crumby. I can taste the almond cream, and a hint of the rum (okay I did add 2 tablespoon instead of one :)). The pear slice I don't think play a lot until it, though it does make the cake prettier. I think I can safely say that this is my favorite bundt cake from the entire book. Hubby loves it as well, saying "hhmmmmm!!" excitedly when I feed him a small slice.