2 or 4, 6″ round cake pans
Fine mesh sieve
Piping bag (optional)
Large round piping tip (optional)
Icing spatula (optional)
8 ounces flour
1 pound sugar
3 ounces cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed coffee, hot
4 ounces pecans
1 cup fortified caramel (recipe below)
2 cups spiced buttercream frosting (recipe below)
1.Preheat an oven to 350°F. Prepare the cake pans by buttering the bottom and sides, lining the bottom with parchment paper and buttering the paper. Set aside.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt). Set aside.
3. In another bowl, beat the eggs for about a minute until broken a part.
4. Add the cream, sour cream and melted butter to the eggs. Mix until blended well.
5. Pour the egg, cream and butter mixture into the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix until the mixture is completely blended and homogeneous.
6. Add the vanilla. Then add the hot coffee to the batter in small additions, mixing well after each addition. Mix in until the batter homogenous.
7. If you are using four pans, evenly distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans. If you are using two, evenly distribute half of the batter between the two pans – you will need to repeat step 6 and 7 with the remaining half of the batter. The batter left to rest may not rise as much as the batter baked aright away.
8. Place the cake pans on a baking sheet. Add the pears to the baking sheet. Bake everything in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out just barely clean (a few straggling crumbs is ok). The pears should be soft to the touch – they may need to bake longer than the cake.
9. While the cakes are baking, prepare the fortified caramel and the buttercream frosting according to the instructions. Set both aside.
8. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting them.
10. Place one layer on a cake stand or plate. Using a piping bag with a large circle tip pipe large circles of frosting around the top of the cake – so when you press the second layer on top it will give a daisy appearance. You may also use an icing spatula to spread the frosting on top. Place the second layer on top.
11. Decorate each cake.
Below are decorating instructions:
For a caramel drizzled top – Place a whole baked pear on top of the cake, in the center. Sprinkle pecans around the pear. Spoon the caramel over the pear and pecans, letting it pool and drizzle down the sides of the cake.
For a pear spiral top – Place a whole baked pear on top of the cake, in the center. Cut another baked pear into 1/4″ wedges. Arrange the wedges in a fanned spiral around the whole pear. Sprinkle pecans on top.
For a caramelized pear accent – Cut a baked or unbaked pear in half. Sprinkle sugar on top of the cut portion. Using a torch, or the broiler of your oven, caramelize the sugar like you would on a creme brulee. Let the sugar harden for about 30 seconds before working with the pear. This should only be done right before serving as the juices in the pear will cause the caramelized sugar to liquify after about 30 minutes.
r Store in an airtight container at room temperature. This cake should last 3 to 4 days though it is best served the same day.
n Avoid adjusting the ingredients in this recipe.