Thursday, June 9, 2011

Baking for Nightshift- Brown Sugar, Pecan and Pear Bundt Cake

Little pretty!

Inside the one I had to try

Still cooling so is unadorned with icing sugar

So tonight I once again start my night shifts. As you would know by now I like to take something with me on my first night (and occasionally on subsequent nights too...), for all the girls (and sometimes the occasional boy), to share. Last night I started getting Harry's cold and today I have a very sore throat so I really should just be lying down and resting before I have to go to work. However I am what you would call, an 'active relaxer' and I find it hard to sit down for too long instead preferring to be doing something I enjoy. That is first and foremost baking so after washing my hands almost obsessively, I chose this cake to make based on a recipe from Dorie Greenspans Book "Baking: From My Home to Yours' which is one of my favourites and is jam-packed with fantastic recipes. If you decide to get it don't buy it here in NZ as it is way more expensive than getting it from Amazon or Book Depository. As well as that I love love love using my bundt tins and I needed an excuse to try out my Nordicware Rose Tin so the decision was sealed almost immediatly. 

Awhile ago I made these Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbreads (also a Dorie recipe), and I just love the flavour combination of the caramel-like brown sugar with the pecan nuts. This recipe is one of those recipes you can mix up and change to make it into whatever combination you want. Dorie gives ideas for an all nut cake, apple and raisin, pear and prune, you can add in nuts...or not, so really it's up to your imagination. I had some pears which are in season at the moment sitting in the kitchen and when I looked into my container of nuts I found that I only had pecans and almonds. Therefore I thought the combination of pear with the brown sugar and pecans might work....and it does.

This cake has a delicious light texture. The pears keep it moist and the mix of pecans with the pear and brown sugar is delicious. I did think to make a glaze but I think I will keep it like it is with just icing sugar on top so as to not detract from the flavour. This is a cake well worth making. All those in the Tuesdays With Dorie seemed to love it and if you do a search for the cake you can see how all the others fared making it. Feel free to mix it up and let me know if you have tried a different and lovely combination if you can.

Brown Sugar, Pear and Pecan Bundt Cake

2 1/4 c flour
1/2 c toasted and ground pecan nuts (or you can use other nuts or else just use plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
230g butter
2 c packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c buttermilk
2 medium pears cored and cut into small cubes (or else use apple)
1/2 c chopped pecans (or else other nuts, or prunes, raisins etc)

Oven to 170C. Grease a 12 c bundt tin (I used my 10c Bavaria tin as well as 4 of the little rose).  You could also use a 26cm tin but I would line the bottom as well.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda and ground nuts.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating for a minute after each. Beat in the vanilla.

On low speed beat in the flour mixture in 3  lots and buttermilk in 2 lots alternately beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not overmix and just mix to combine. Fold in the pears and other nuts.

Bake about an hour or until cooked.

Sprinkle over icing sugar and enjoy.

And to my lovely friend Michelle who is having her little boy tomorrow....good luck Hon, I can't wait to meet the little darling! And a big congratulations to little Miss Lotts who will be a big sister for the second time this time tomorrow. Lots of love to you all xxx

You can see this post over at  Sweet As Sugar Cookies who very kindly invited me to put this post on...Thanks!!!


  1. What beautiful little cakes. Wish I had those lovely pans. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cake up.