Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pear Buckwheat Cake

After buying buckwheat flour and deciding it was quite tasty, I went on a search for more recipes that use buckwheat. I realize this recipe is more autumn summery, but it sounded so good, I couldn't resist. Also, it called for a half cup of pearsauce and guess who's had a cup of pearsauce sitting in the freezer ever since I made the more cake-like (as opposed to tea or coffee cake) spiced pearsauce cake last November. I decided to make this recipe a bit simpler by buying pre-ground almonds, but otherwise stuck fairly faithfully to the original. The end result was a substantial, but still somewhat light cake. I would save it for when the weather is just a bit cooler, but you're welcome to go ahead and try it!

One year ago: Very Blueberry Muffins (if you haven't tried these, do it now!)

Pear Buckwheat Cake (from Desserts for Breakfast, liberally adapted from David Lebovitz's Ripe for Dessert)

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or 140g ground almonds)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup pear sauce
1 tspn vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 tspn cream of tartar, optional
4 Tbspn granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9" cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment paper round.
2. In the food processor, combine and pulse the almonds, buckwheat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon until the almonds are finely ground. (If almonds are already ground, just hand mix.)
3. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and light brown sugar on medium for about 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the pear sauce, vanilla extract, and 4 egg yolks--one at a time, combining between each addition.
4. Place the egg yolks in a separate bowl with the salt and cream of tartar. Stir the egg whites with a whisk until the surface is completely covered with foam. Then, beat the egg whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar, until glossy peaks are reached.
5. Mix the buckwheat flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Stir in 1/3 of the egg whites until nearly combined and then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites. Do not overmix!
6. Immediately transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for ~45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out cleanly. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for ten minutes on a cooling rack before removing from the pan. Let cool completely.

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