Poached pear cake with chai-spiced buttercream and salted caramel drizzle
- September 2016
- Serves 12
- Hands-on 40 min, oven 55-60 min, plus infusing, chilling and cooling
Edd Kimber’s gorgeous cake recipe is a combination of spicy chai, caramel and pears.
- 39.6g (24.3g saturated)
- 86.1g (70.2g sugars)
For the buttercream
- 250g unsalted butter, diced
- 2 chai-spiced tea bags
- 250g icing sugar
- Splash whole milk, if needed
For the salted caramel
- 75g caster sugar
- 60ml double cream
- 10g unsalted butter
- Large pinch sea salt flakes
For the poached pears
- 4 ripe conference pears, peeled, cored and quartered
- Pared zest and juice ½ lemon
- 200g caster sugar
For the sponge
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 250g caster sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 250g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
You’ll also need…
- Deep 23cm diameter cake tin, greased and base-lined with non-stick baking paper
- A few hours before you want to make the cake, put the butter for the buttercream in a small pan and cook over a medium heat until the butter foams, the milk solids turn golden and the mixture smells nutty. Pour it through a fine sieve into a small bowl. While still hot, add thetea bags and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bags, then chill the butter until firm.
- For the salted caramel, put the 75g sugar in a medium pan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar has caramelised, turning the colour of an old penny. Pour in the cream in two additions, followed by the 10g butter and the salt. Cook the caramel until smooth, then pourit into a small heatproof container, cool and chill until needed.
- Put the quartered pears in a medium pan and add a couple of strips of lemon peel, plus the lemon juice. Top up with water to cover and add the 200g caster sugar. Put the pan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until the pears are tender. Remove the pears and set aside (don’t discard the poaching water; simmered until slightly syrupy, it can be used as syrup in cocktails).
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. To make the sponge, put the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time; fully combine before adding more.
- Whizz half the poached pears in a blender until smooth. Stir half the flour and half the baking powder into the cake batter, followed by half the pear purée. Repeat, then pour the finished batter into the prepared tin and level out. Bake for 55-60 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
- Remove the chai butter for the buttercream from the fridge, cut it into small pieces and set aside until slightly softened. Put it in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add the icing sugar, beating on high speed until light and fluffy. Mix ina little milk if the icing looks dry.
- To assemble, spread the buttercream over the cake, then pile the remaining poached pears on top and drizzle with the salted caramel.
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