Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Rosemary and Pear Upside-down Cake

WOW! It's been three months, three LONG months since my last post. Apologies to my loyal followers but there are a few perfectly good explanations for my absence;

My boyfriend Steve and I moved in together. Some of you might ask, 'What does this have to do with baking delicious treats and blogging about them?' Well, it all started when we needed to hook up the internet to our new place. 

Long story short, it took 3 weeks and 6 or 7, rather angry, phone calls before Telstra even had our new account processed. Then another 2 weeks before the phone line was connected. Then ANOTHER week before the phone line was ready for a wifi internet connection. TALK ABOUT frustrating. 

So, 6 weeks without internet connection and only 1GB of data download on my phone doesn't leave much room to upload photos and create a new blog post. 

You would think moving in with my boyfriend would be cause enough to bake more. And you're right it is. But poor Steve doesn't have an adventurous palette (sorry darling), which somewhat limits my creative mind. Mostly he likes anything chocolate, as do I. But even a chocoholic such as myself needs variety. And unless I bake something that Steve will eat, I have to eat it all...which is not good for my figure. 

If I'm going to be completely honest my main reason for my 'long service leave' would have to be lack of inspiration. However, my new job at Adriano Zumbo's in Melbourne has kick started me back into gear and helped me to create this recipe. 

Rosemary seems like an unlikely ingredient to put into a cake but I'm telling you it really works. My sister used to make rosemary and raisin cookies and I've long wanted to expand this idea into other baked goods. 

I've always loved upside-down cakes. Caramelised fruit on top of a fluffy cake....I'm licking my lips at the thought. Don't be scared of the idea of pairing herbs with fruit. Otherwise, you'll be missing out on some serious taste bud dancing.  

1-2 Pears, peeled and sliced
60g Butter
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Sprigs Rosemary
190g Butter, softened
1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon Rosemary
2 cups Plain Flour
4 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup Almond Meal
1 cup Almond Milk

To make the cake...
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and line a 25cm round cake tin.

For the topping, melt together the butter, brown sugar and rosemary in a saucepan and pour into prepared tin. Place the pear slices in a circular pattern in the bottom of the cake tin. Set aside. 

In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until pale in colour. Beat in eggs one at a time until well combined. Add dry ingredients and milk and beat with electric mixer until just combined. Pour mixture over pear topping. 

Bake for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. You may need to place foil over the cake if the top is browning too quickly. Allow to sit in the cake tin for 5 minutes before turning out. Serve immediately with cream or ice cream, or greek yoghurt.

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