makes one 9" cake
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
prep time: 45 min / cook time: 40-50 min
3 tbsp bread crumbs
* I used graham cracker, finely ground
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
4 oz unsalted butter (1 stick)
3/4 c sugar
3 pears, peeled, in a small dice
*I used anjou, but would recommend a softer variety, like a bosc or any other of your favorites
3/4 c bittersweet chocolate chips/chunk
•Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• Butter a 9" springform pan and dust with breadcrumbs, set aside.
•Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
•Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick.
* In a professional Kitchen Aid, it takes at least five minutes.
•While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan (because it will foam a lot) and cook it until the butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.
* It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning.
•Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more. Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to loose volume, turn the mixture down to stir.
•Add the flour mixture and brown butter to the egg-sugar mixture. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the browned butter, 1/3 of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined — no more than a minute from when the flour is first added — and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume. Pour into prepared pan.
•Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top.
•Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes or a tester comes out clean.
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