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Sunday, June 5, 2011

HCB: Swedish Pear and Almond Cream Cake

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.

As I have mentioned in the Last Cake, Next Cake post, I made my own frangipane. I used Rose's recipe from the Pie & Pastry Bible, which calls for blanched almonds, butter, sugar, egg, and rum. The mixture is a bit thin and I was worried that it will mess up the cake, so I then compared the ingredients to the almond cream ingredients for this cake. It is pretty close, with the exception that the almond cream calls for some flour. So I added flour. I didn't measure, just grab with my fingers and mix it in to get a bit thicker consistency.

Done!

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.

Into the oven it goes. While I prayed and crossed my fingers...

It seems all is well because after 45 minutes, this is what it looked like.

I managed to wait until the cake cooled before slicing it. Even though the smell is killing me softly...

Look at that crumb!

More killing me softly, as I spent 1/2 hour taking pictures.

Tasting impressions:
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.

9 comments:

  1. First, let me say that I love your photos, and the crust and crumb on this cake look fantastic!

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  2. Told you (wink)! And I'm seriously in love with the background that you used on your last shot... SERIOUSLY IN LOVE... do tell

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  3. Lois, thanks for the photo compliments. I was experimenting with something different. Glad to hear you liked it.

    Monica, the background is 1/2 yard of fabric from Jo-Ann. It was cheap! And PS: it's the same as with the first shot.

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  4. Your cake and pictures are gorgeous. And the crumb... beautiful! Great idea to use fabric from JoAnn to dress up the table (why didn't I think of that? I have tons of fabric scraps laying around, ha ha). I feel bad for not baking along this week (again). I didn't get home until 9pm yesterday, so I unpacked, brushed up and went to bed. Completely forgot about the cake I have to bake for my own ABC group for tomorrow, so that's what I'll be baking tonight. Hopefully I'll have some time to bake this cake tomorrow night, otherwise it'll move to Free Choice week.

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  5. Really beautiful! I remember this cake very well.

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  6. absolutely lovely/beautiful/perfect!

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  7. Your cake looks so delicious and pretty. I love the shape of it as well. I'm interested that your batter was so runny and that Rose mentions this in the book (I didn't read that detail - hah!). I'm definitely making it again.

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  8. Jenn, this cake was an unexpected winner for me too. Your photos make it look especially snazzy! I made a couple RHC cakes over the weekend and will post them very soon!

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  9. I'm almost drooling over my keyboard. Not pretty. :D
    Beautiful cake - so golden! - and gorgeous pan! I love baking with pears.

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