Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TWD: Pear Surprise Cake


As in, SURPRISE, no berries! I decided to make this one a bit more seasonal and go with red wine poached pears for inside this week's TWD pick. And before I go any farther, there are some things that should be noted about this week's baking.


Note to self: Do not try to make this after getting next to no sleep because you just had to fly out to Baltimore for a friend's wedding. Both you, and the boyfriend, will be cranky. And that will mean that neither will be particularly tactful to each other.

Note to the boyfriend: Do not ever call something I make "interesting" after making that sort of face. Seriously, I know what you actually mean when you say that. It's akin to someone telling their friend that the girl he's been set up on a blind date with has a "nice personality." Just. don't.


Now, to clarify, I loved the red wine poached pears. Seriously, they were fantastic, and I used the poaching liquid instead of making a simple syrup to brush on the inside of the cake. Which was a bit fussy. The cake, that is. You see, I halved the recipe and put most of it in my small springform and the rest in a random ramekin (taste testing, ya know). They both rose beautifully until about 15 minutes in. Then the one in the springform fell. It was as if a meteor had entered my oven and beelined for that poor little cake. I almost cried (I told you I was really tired, right?).

But there's where the boyfriend redeemed himself. While I'm sitting there trying to figure out how to salvage this, most likely by making a parfait, he wanders over and says one simple thing. "Just cut it in half and flip the top half over. Then you have more room for the filling too."


Sometimes, they surprise you, don't they? So that's what I did, and it worked out perfectly. Now, I have to be honest - my favorite parts of this cake were the pears and the cake itself. Mostly the cake batter, because it tasted like marshmallows. The cream cheese filling and whipped cream topping were the guests at the party that you really wish hadn't come. So I filled, frosted, sliced, pictured, and then took it all apart and began eating the cake scraps and bits of poached pear. Which were seriously fabulous. So thank you Mary Ann!

Last Week: Corn and Pepper Muffins
Next Week: Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

57 comments:

pinkstripes said...

Your cake looks great and the poached pears sound wonderful. I hate, absolutely hate when I receive the 'interesting' comment from my husband (and I don't have to be tired).

Mary Ann said...

I love the pears in this. I never would have thought of that. Your reaction to sinkage in the oven is just what I thought, but it sounds and looks like you made it work. Fab job!

Marie said...

I think your version looks delicious!! I used blueberries and lime in mine with equally as delicious results! Boyfriends can come in handy sometimes and it sounds like yours did!

SiHaN said...

poached pears.. now thats a different take on the red fruits! haha. Love it too.

Marthe said...

What a great idea to sub the berries with pears!! I'm afraid I didn't make this recipe: too much hassle for me at this time...

Cristine said...

I wish I could be as creative as you are when I'm dead tired. Oh wait... I wish I could be as creative as you when I am fully rested! :) Great job!

Judy said...

Ha. The same meteor must have struck my cake, too! It still came out ok. I know about being tired, too. See the 1/19 bread post.

Snooky doodle said...

this cake looks nice. i love your boyfriend's suggestion , sometimes they come out with good suggestions too :)

Cakelaw said...

I love the picture of the cake on the Chinese style plate - it looks beautiful with the red poached pear on top. Your boyfriend's idea about the sunken cake was fabulous - I'll have t try and remember that.

Cathy said...

If you didn't tell me that your cake sunk, I never would have known from the pictures. It looks great, and pears were a fabulous idea!

vibi said...

WOW! Great job, Hannah!
My buddy made the exact same version! Red wine poached pear! ...talk about telepathy! LOL
I'm sure it was amazingly tasty!
Very well done!

LyB said...

Great idea flipping the cake like that, it turned out great. This is the second wine poached pear version I've seen today. Looks so delicious, I really have to try that. :)

Kimberly Johnson said...

Your cake looks fabulous and red wine poached pears sound wonderful! Great idea to use the poaching liquid to soak the cake! Yum!

Danielle said...

Nice idea using the pears!
I added more sugar to the filling to make it taste better! You cake looked very pretty.

rainbowbrown said...

Looks like surprises all over the place this time around. A beautiful save...and a beautiful frosting job, whoa.

spike. said...

Nice save, it sounds like a lot of people had sinkage with this one. It looks pretty perfect to me!

Isabelle said...

cool caitlin, nous avons eu la même idée :)

Peggy said...

See, you found a way to make it work for you. My second attempt worked, but I still didn't care for the texture of this cake. I love your idea with the pears!

joanna said...

Good save! It looks great!

Karen said...

the pears sound good for this. i liked it a lot with blackberries. good save by the boyfriend. :)

Rachel said...

hahaha--i totally hear you on the "interesting" comment. makes you want to throw the cake at his head. looks like it turned out well though!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

You always have the prettiest plates!

Karen said...

Boys...they do surprise us sometimes don't they? I think your cake looks fabulous! :)

leanne said...

Mine fell too. Nice job making it work! It looks awesome and now I want to try those poached pears.

cindy* said...

haha, i know that "interesting" face...i also love it when my boyfriends portion sits there uneaten for hours and he continues to insist that he's going to get to it...right.

but, great save for the sunken cake!

Jessica said...

The poached pears are inspired. I love that you made this cake more seasonally appropriate. My boyfriend called something that I made "interesting" recently. It led to a big discussion about interesting and its use as an adjective regarding things I make. It's fine if I say something "interesting" but I really don't want to make something "interesting." Capisce?

Natashya said...

Great recovery! Mine sank too, but I didn't have an engineer to tell me how to fix it..
I love the poached pears idea, very creative!

Tammy said...

pears were a great idea! I hate it when someone says something is "interesting"! My mother also says "oh, that's different" whcih is equally annoying!

Gabe's Girl said...

Great job and creativity! You boy sounds like a keeper, even with the funny story. I think pears was a great way to go!

Flourchild said...

Great idea to use pears. Your cake looks tasty. Mine did not rise but we liked it.

chocolatechic said...

Brilliant idea, and your cake looks just lovely.

bakingwiththeboys said...

I never would have guessed your cake sunk. The pears sound perfect.

Jules Someone said...

Lovely! And it sounds like you can keep the boyfriend.

kim said...

i did the same thing with my sunken cake ;) sorry you didn't love the filling, but those pears look and sound amazing!

MacDuff said...

Pears - good call. I agree - this cake was a bit of a wreck for me, too. And I hear you about the no sleep relationship dynamic. Jon is still reeling from when I threw that toaster at his head.

jillbert said...

It looks beautiful. The boyfriend is lucky that he redeemed himself!

Fit Chick said...

Glad your cake tasted so good, mine was too plain. The pears sound delicious!

Melissa said...

I wouldn't have thought to use pears - love that idea! Your little minis are cute. I love when my significant other surprises me... they come in handy sometimes, huh?

Melissa said...

I totally agree with you on the filling and the cream...they are guests that should have been disinvited.

Beautiful cake though!

Carol Peterman said...

I was on a similar wave and used my left over pear poaching syrup from the pear tart to cook kumquats for the cake. I would have thought pears would work with the cream elements in the cake, but live and learn. It looks beautiful either way.

Ivette said...

YUM! I bet the cake tasted exceptional with poached pears! Your cake looks really tasty!

TeaLady said...

Great looking cake with the poached pears. Very creative. Worse than 'interesting' is when Hubs looks at something that is obvious to me and says, "So, what is it??" (UH!! Your last meal!!!)

Banjo said...

Oh boyfriends, they always know just what to say or not to say...ha ha Gotta love em! Your cake does look lovely and great idea with the pears :)

Pamela said...

Wow! I am not even sure that I like pears, but your wine poached pears look fabulous. Great job, Caitlin!

natalia said...

Ciao ! I'm sorry about the problems ! But the looks are great anyway and I love your seasonal idea ! I used frozen raspberries but poached pears sound great ! Baci !

Jess said...

Poached pears...how perfect for winter. And they add that little shot of color this cake needs. We all live in dread of the "interesting" comment, but sometimes they do redeem themselves...glad it worked for you!

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

To quote one of the children (now 17) that was in our wedding: "Boys have waffles for brains." Smart kid.
They know we know what they're thinking when they make such faces!

Your cake looks superb.:)

Di said...

I still haven't learned that I shouldn't bake when I'm really tired... and I especially shouldn't let my children anywhere near the kitchen if I do it anyway. =) Nice job on the cake--great save with the sunken cake. I guess it's still worth keeping the guys around even when they tend to make stupid comments. =)

The Food Librarian said...

LOL! Your boyfriend is a keeper! Your cake looks great.

Piggy said...

Genoise with poached pear sounds yummy! I agree with you whole-heartedly about the "interesting" comment, it is rather annoying, especially when we are not in the best of mood!

btw, regarding your question on chiffon cake pan, this is how it looks like.

Audrey said...

love the pear idea! (and yes, I would have liked that truckload of cookies too...)

Kaco said...

Have you ever blogged about kitchen tools and which ones you like for your miniature baking and for measurement (volume and weight)? On my scale, the tare doesn't work (the way I think it should)... its terrible. (pun unintentional but funny)

-fellow Chemical Engineer that likes to cook too!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sometimes, they surprise you, don't they? You can say that again. But when my guy has done something like this it's like the reverse course of that meteor had entered my oven and beelined for that poor little cake and all's right with the world.
So I'll go for the cake and pears! Sounds lovely.

Liz said...

I love the mental image of you, picking apart the cake and the pears! I have been there many, many times. No shame in that game!

n.o.e said...

Now that's both dedication (to make it when so tired) and invention (hello, red wine poached pears) at work. Too bad you didn't love it all together, but loving two elements counts for something, right?
Nancy

Kayte said...

I didn't get around last week, so I am catching up a bit here...love the idea of the pears with this. You are so creative...and now it turns out that The Boyfriend is also! Great job.

Jaime said...

i love your boyfriend's idea! genius!! i thought this was just "eh" too