Well it’s been awhile since I’ve been here, but I am glad to be back! I’ve got some great recipes coming up that I can’t wait to share. Let’s kick things off with one of my favorites, it’s a wintery version of an upside down cake. This time I replaced the traditional pineapple with pears and some holiday spices. Then I paired it with some salted toffee sauce and pecan praline bits on the side for some texture. I serve mine warm and they are the perfect dessert for a holiday dinner party, or just any night of the week. The cakes are easy to make, but the praline and toffee sauce are a bit technical, when dealing with sugar work always use caution.
*Makes 4 ramekins*
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 pears – peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
Salted Toffee Sauce
- 4 oz butter
- 6 oz dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar, divide evenly among the ramekins.
- Slice the pears, lay them over the butter and brown sugar mixture in the ramekins. Trim the pears as needed to fit in the ramekins as mine are, shown above.
- In a medium sized bowl measure the flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Using another medium sized bowl measure out the sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and vanilla.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients, stir to combine, be careful not to over mix.
- Divide the batter evenly between the ramekins, careful not to displace the pears. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, rotate, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool. Run a knife around the edge of the cake before inverting the cakes onto a plate.
- In a small sauce pan, melt the sugar and 1/4 cup of water over medium low heat. Don’t stir. Use a wet pastry brush to carefully brush down the sides of the pan, keeping any bubbling sugar off the sides of the pan.
- The sugar will gradually become amber colored, when it finally reaches a rich amber color take the pan off the heat and add the toasted pecans, carefully stirring together.
- Working quickly and carefully with a rubber spatula spread the pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flattening the mixture, pressing down as much as possible as the sugar cools.
- Allow to fully cool and then break/chop into bite sized pieces.
- Melt 4 ounces of butter in a medium sauce pan.
- Add the brown sugar, stir together and bring to a boil.
- Carefully add in the heavy cream (mixture will boil) and the vanilla extract and salt. Bring to a boil, and allow to thicken, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and allow sauce to cool.