This Sugar high Friday is hosted by Chandra at Lick The Spoon and she picked a drunken dessert, preferably not rum….so I had the perfect recipe for this that I’ve been meaning to use since I bought my very first silicon mould (sigh). It was a cold November Sunday, I’d spent the weekend in Edinburgh and was on my way home. The last few months I’d been reading more and more blogs and had been reading about this new baking product called a silicon mould. Everybody seemed over the moon with these moulds and they did sound good but I’d never spotted one in the Dundee shops.
So little unexpected me was wondering in and out shops on the way to the train station and suddenly found myself in the Jenners (it’s a bit like the Scottish Harrods, but not quite so grand and without the foodsection) cooking department where I was greeted by a table full of lovely baby-pink Fauchon silicon!! So I ages to decide but finally settled on a mould with nine small rectangles (very practical) as I figured buying the pink mini heart-shaped moulds would give him a hart attack.
When I finally sat down on the train, I unwrapped my lovely new mould (there’s nothing quite like getting something just for you wrapped as a present anyway) and found another bonus: there were two recipe cards included with the mould. One was for vegetable mini cakes and the other for miniature pear cakes. Both sounded appealing but I’m definitely sweets person so I started plotting this recipe. I wouldn’t be able to get pear liquor in Dundee I would have to make some and I had just the bottle for it.
My parents have this habit of giving us presents and then not remembering so giving them again. This way we’ve steadily been building up a collection of Corenwyn (only in Dutch I’m afraid). This is almost like a Dutch combination of vodka and whiskey, distilled from grains but matured in oak casts for three years it has a high alcohol percentage and a sharp taste and I’m not a big fan of it as a drink. But as the taste isn’t very pronounced it can easily be used for cooking.
So when I got off the train, I bought some pears, made the liquor using equal quantities of sugar, fruit and alcohol and left it in the cupboard to rest……for about 6 months! For all my initial excitement, I never actually got around to making the cakes until now so this was a great motivator. The batter was very straightforward to prepare although I could really have done with braising the pears earlier but I left everything till the last minute, so they weren’t quite cold when they got mixed into the batter (and still had quite a lot of juice with them). Another thing that worried me was that there was no use of rising agent but the dense consistency worked quite well once the cakes were soaked. Once cooled, the cakes were really nice and moist, the flavour of the alcohol wasn’t to overpowering but gave this subtle hint that there was a little more than just pears in there. It was great for dessert as it was still all warm but even better the next day when all the flavours mixed.
Miniature pear cakes (makes nine)
165g caster sugar
2cl pear liquor/brandy
165g diced pears
3cl pear liquor/brandy
Braise the diced pears in the honey and butter; cool and set aside in the fridge. In a bowl beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture forms soft peaks. Blend one third of the mix with the melted butter and brandy, add the flour to the other two thirds of the mixture. Then mix these two together. Fill each miniature cake tin with the mix and the diced pears. Bake at 160C for 35 min. Mix the sugar, water and pear liquor to make a pear punch and heat it for a few minutes. Leave the miniature cakes to cool for 3-4 min; then soak them in the hot pear punch for 30 sec.