Sunday, April 29, 2012

Upside-down Caramelized Pear Chocolate Bundt Cake

I really wasn't sure if you could do an upside-down bundt cake. I'm not sure I've ever seen one, probably because the shape of the cake is already so pretty it doesn't need any extra decoration on top. In the past I have had bundt disasters, where only half the cake comes out of the pan. It was possible that all the fruit would just stick to the bottom taking half the cake with it. That's why it was all the more exciting when the cake turned out, even prettier than I hoped. I kinda of think the shape of the pears over laid on each other makes perfect sense wit the shape of the bundt. And chocolate and pears make pretty good friends too. 

I used Joy the Baker's Chocolate Sour Cream cake from her new cookbook. I love Joy's blog and her book was just as exciting.The pear chocolate inspiration came from this Tartelette recipe. She described the cake as a major crowd pleaser and pretty easy, and while it didn't take any tricky maneuvers I don't know if I'd call anything that takes so many bowls super easy. Due to my limited kitchen counter space I was mixing bowls on the floor. 

This cake bakes up huge! Look at it, just busting right out of my buntd pan. It makes sense since it uses 2 full cups of sugar and 3 eggs. You get a lot of cake for your trouble. To cook it fully the top got a bit burnt, I think my oven is a little hotter than most, but I easily sawed that off to level the cake anyways.

Over all the cake was very tasty and moist but I honestly wished it was a bit more chocolatey. I ended up making a chocolate ganache to drizzle over top of each slice, and that was the perfect bite of chocolatey-peary goodness.

One last tip- and what I think led to bundt success was generously 'flouring' the pan so that the cake came out easily. However, I didn't want my beautiful pears all covered in white flour so used cocoa powder instead and that turned out just right. I also allowed the cake to cool a bit, but not completely so the sugar didn't turn into glue at the bottom of the pan.

For the pears:

1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons of butter
2- 3 firm pears as thinly sliced as possible

For the cake (from Joy the Baker cook book):

1 1/4 cups hot prepared coffee
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups granulate sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat over to 350. 

Prepare the pears by slicing thinly and gently simmering with the brown sugar and butter in a pan until they soften and the sugar caramelizes slightly. Generously grease the bundt pan, getting into every nook and cranny and dust with cocoa powder. Lay the pear slices out  overlapping each other in the bottom of the pan

To prepare the cake, mix the hot coffee and cocoa powder together until smooth in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl stir together all the dry ingredients except the sugar.
In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs until well combined, then add the oil and sour cream.
Add the beautiful sour cream and eggs to the flour mixture, mix until combined then add your chocolate and coffee mixture.

Pour into pan and bake for about 50 minutes.

Let cool about 10-15 minutes in the pan and then turn onto cooling rack to cool completely. 

Bonus points: drizzle each slice with melted chocolate or chocolate ganache.

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