October 31, 2010

Spiced Ginger Cake with Poached Pear and Caramel Sauce

I stumbled upon this delicious dessert at one of our favorite restaurants. We used to dine there on special occasions with families and close friends. The food is wonderful and the service is outstanding. This dessert recipe is adapted from Wente Vineyard. I've made some adjustments to the recipe based upon my preference. The cake is rich and moist and full of flavor. This will be a delightful dessert for the holidays!

Ingredients: Poached Pears
4 oranges
3 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
7 cups water
1½ cups sugar
4 firm, slightly ripe Pears
1. Peel orange zest thinly with a vegetable peeler. Cut into half and squeeze juice from oranges and add to a large pot. Add water, spices, sugar and zest and halves of oranges.
2. Peel pears, sliced in half and remove the center and seeds. Add to pot and simmer on low for about 25-30 minutes, or until tender but not too soft. Remove and let cool. When cooled, slice them into 4-5 slices leaving the stem on the top.
Ingredients: Caramel Sauce
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup Port or Riesling (room temperature)
1. Combine sugar, water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium-heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and let it come to a boil until it resembles a rich amber color. Gently add in the wine as the mixture will bubbles. 2. Continue to stir over low heat until mixture is dissolved and smooth. Remove from pan to cool. (This can be prepared the day before.
Ingredients: Ginger Cake
2½ cups flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup light molasses
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 medium-sized egg, lightly beaten
1 cup hot boiling water
pinch of salt
9x5 baking pan, greased pan or individual cake rings
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, dried spices, and salt. Whisk together molasses and hot water to mix in a separate bowl.
2. Mix butter, brown sugar, and egg with an electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is creamy. Mix in the flour mixture and molasses at low spped until it is smooth without lumps.
3. Pour batter into a greased pan. Bake in oven for about 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for about 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Cut into squares if you are making it in a cake pan.
4. Serve ginger cake warm. Place caramel sauce on the plate and then the cake, and top with fanned poached pear. Place a dollop of cream or ice-cream. Drizzled more caramel sauce on top if desired.
Printable Recipe

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