"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake

Over the holidays I took a little trip back to California and we all went to my Aunt Amy's for a Christmas dinner. There were 11 people total and 5 different desserts. This is typical for my family and explains some things. Somehow, all the desserts were different! My Aunt Amy made a pumpkin pie and a chocolate cake that was rich and delicious. My Aunt Sue made an incredible chocolate orange bunt cake. My mom made a pavlov with fresh fruit and I made an upside down ginger pear cake. Like most our family gatherings, it ended with everyone in a food coma on the floor. One of my favorite things to do when I have some time is to stroll through the cookbook section of bookstores and scribble down recipes in my journal. I found this recipe in Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook and I instantly knew this is what I wanted to make. I changed it up slightly from the original recipe; I like to think I made it a tad healthier. This dessert is great for the cold weather and I recommend having it a la mode, or a la milk.

Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake
Adapted from Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook

For the topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4-5 medium pears, cut into sixths lengthwise

For the cake:
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons peeled, grated ginger
3/4 cups fake eggs (3 eggs)
2/3 cup molasses
3 cups  flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups soymilk

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 inch spring form pan.
2. In a bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Mix in the pear slices and toss until they are evenly coated. Place the pear slices on the bottom of the pan in a circular form.
3. In a separate bowl mix together the butter, brown sugar, ginger, eggs and molasses. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Alternate folding in the flour mixture and the soymilk to he molasses mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and do not over mix. Pour the batter over the pears in the pan and smooth out with a spatula.
5. Place the cake in the center rack of the oven and bake for about one hour and 45 minutes, or until a toothpick skewer comes out clean. Let cake cool for about 10 minutes before carefully flipping upside down and gently lift the pan's base off the cake. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or milk!

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