Today has been a feel good day. It’s still chilly outside, but the sun has been bright and lighting corners of my world that I nearly forgot existed. I feel downright productive.
I’ve been wanting to make these little cakes since December, when they were first posted on Tartelette. I always find myself daydreaming about the sweet things on her site, but I’ve never tried any of her recipes. While browsing produce last week I found a basket of small d’Anjou pears that would be ideal for her fallen pear souffles.
The pears need to be peeled and cored from the bottom. I cored mine with a knife, which helped with getting all the little black seeds out. The pears are so small that coring and seeding is likewise a small task.
A really fun part of this recipe is choosing the spices for poaching. I used the suggested cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. I almost poached the pears in red wine, but I’ve been using it in so many recipes lately. I figured I should hold off on the red wine for now, but a scarlet pear would be beautiful in this dish.
All the spices go in a saucepan, along with 4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. I added some honey and anise seeds too. You’ll boil this mixture for 20-30 minutes or until the pears soften. Mine took a while because they were a little under-ripe when I bought them. When they are done they should be drained on a paper towel or wire rack.
Next you’ll put the cake batter together, which is super easy and pretty basic, so I won’t go into it much. You’ll fill your 4 oz. ramekins 1/3 full and then plop a poached pear right in the middle. Bake and enjoy!
The cake portion of this recipe has a texture unlike any other. Tartelette describes it as part cake, part souffle, and part custard. It is indeed all three – puffy at the top, cakey around the edges and super moist and custard-like around the poached pear. Divine!
And now for something completely different…
I’ve been macaroning again. I’m just disappointed that I didn’t get to post my Mardi Gras macs before Fat Tuesday. So here they are. Better late than never, right?
I boxed some of these up for my parents to munch on after my mother’s birthday lunch earlier this month – and guess what?!
Mom got the baby!
According to King’s Cake tradition, I believe that means she has to make the Mardi Gras macarons next year, right? I was surprised the baby fit so well and was so well hidden!
If you’d like the macaron shell recipe I use, you can find it here in an earlier post. This is my third run, and they turned nice yet again! I used buttercream for the center, and they tasted like birthday cake.
I rolled the edges in gold sanding sugar. I think they turned out pretty darn festive!
Now it’s time to catch up with all the blogs in my reader. The number grows daily!
Until next time – happy baking!