Sometimes I stare at my little green notebook and all its empty lines eagerly waiting for me to fill them. Sometimes my mind races with amazingly creative ideas, but most times I look at those little blank lines and all I can write is, "cake, cake, cake and tea…"
As the weather begins to cool my kettle begins to boil. When the gray mid-afternoon arrives and my fingers begin to prance about my keyboard a little more slowly than they should, and my eyelids grow heavier with each blink, I know tea time has officially arrived.
Sometimes my tea feels a little lonely, sitting on my dark-stained tray with the brass fox handles, and those are the times when cake is obligatory.
I wanted this cake to be dense yet moist, and to capture those soft, aromatic, flavors of September which the crisp air has been bringing to my mind every time I walk out of my door. This cake is the perfect companion for your lonely cups of afternoon tea.
We begin with roasted pears. These pears meet with a mixture of warm spices, rosemary and brown sugar before hitting the oven, where they will be roasted until they are caramelized perfection.
Our roasted pears are pureed and folded into the cake batter. The pear puree gives this cake a wonderful amount of moisture and an incredible texture.
After the cake has baked and cooled, brown butter glaze is drizzled and walnuts are sprinkled.
Incidentally, brown butter glaze has the power to make anything and everything irresistibly delicious.
For our long, September afternoons…
Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze
- 4 medium Bosc pears, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped from the stem
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl whisk to combine allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Toss pear quarters in the spice and sugar mixture and add rosemary.
Spread the pear mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 10 minutes or until the pears are soft and caramelized.
Allow the pears to cool before transferring to the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse several times until the pears are thoroughly pureed.
brown butter glaze
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Place butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted cook for several minutes until the butter deepens in color and reaches dark amber. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl combine butter, confectioner’s sugar, and heavy cream. Whisk thoroughly to create a smooth glaze. Stir in vanilla extract.
cake and assembly
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a bunt pan with nonstick baking spray and dust with flour.
Sift to combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl whisk eggs. Whisk in milk and pear puree, then stir in the melted butter. Fold in the sifted dry ingredients and walnuts.
Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until the top of the cake is deep golden in color.
Allow to cool before removing from pan. Drizzle the brown butter glaze over the cooled cake, allow the glaze several minutes to set before serving. Enjoy!