Sometimes books lie, sometimes books say "best served warm" and it's a lie. A horrible, horrible, disappointing lie.
I served this cake, warm as suggested, at a friend's house. I took a bite and thought to myself "oh boy, what have I made?! I'm so sorry!" I pushed my plate aside and watched everyone (well, everyone except the boy who didn't like pears) finish their bit. And then I watched half the people (that's a whole two!) go and get another slice. Weird, maybe they were just humouring me?
When I left that night there was still a bit of cake remaining, so I took it with me. I shoved it in the fridge, feeling bemused as to why there was so little left. I didn't like it, why should anyone else?
This morning when I got up I tried the cake again tried because I thought I should give it another shot. It was delicious, absolutely delicious. The just cooked egg taste of the night before was gone. Gone without a trace. In it's place stood a rich, almost custard like, cake. So good, so pleased.
I think I'm going to go finish off the last two slices now.
Daniel's apple & pear cake
(from Wicked: Desserts from your Favourite Chefs by Delicious Magazine)
275g (9 3/4 oz) butter, softened
250g (8 3/4 oz) brown sugar
200g (7 oz) plain flour
3 eggs, at room temperature
100ml (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) milk
2 small pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
3 small apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
100g (3 1/2 oz) almond meal
85g (3 oz) hazelnut meal
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
thick cream, for serving
Grease and line the base and sides of a 24 cm springform cake pan.
For the cake, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy and all the sugar has dissolved. Fold in the flour until combined. Add three of the eggs, one at a time, and stir until smooth. Add the milk and stir until well combined and batter is smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Arrange the apples and pears over the batter. Sprinkle the almond and hazelnut meal over the fruit.
For the topping, heat the remaining butter and sugar with the cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat. Lightly whisk the 4 eggs and gradually add to the butter mixture. Whisk until combined.
Pour the topping evenly over the cake mixture and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the top comes out clean and the top is firm and brown.
Serve warm or cold depending on your preference, top with cream.