Pear and Walnut Snack Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

Pear and Walnut Snack Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

Poaching the Pears

  • 1 cup of Water (240 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • 3 tablespoons of Light Brown Sugar
  • 600 grams or 1 pound 5 ounces Bosc Pears (2 Large Pears or 3 Medium)

Peel and core the pears. Cut into quarters.

In a 2-3 quart saucepan mix together the water, lemon juice and brown sugar.

Place the pears into the water mixture and bring to a boil. 

Lower the heat to medium and let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.  The pears are done when they are soft but still hold their shape. 

Set aside to cool.

When cool chop ( ½” dice) enough of the pears to make ½ cup.  Take the remaining pears and liquid and puree in a food processor or blender. You will only need 1 cup of the puree. Depending on the size of the pears you may have extra.

This can be done the day before.  Store the chopped pears and puree separately in the refrigerator.

Roasting the Walnuts

¾ cup of Walnuts

Preheat oven 325° F or 160° C

Place the walnuts on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes to toast.  Remove, let cool completely and coarsely chop.  Set aside.

Raise the oven temperature to 350° F or 175° C.

Cake Batter

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (210 grams)

3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger

¾ teaspoon of baking soda

¼ teaspoon of baking powder 

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

4 ounces of room temperature unsalted butter (114 grams)

1 cup of caster sugar (200 grams)

1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

½ cup of buttermilk (120 ml)

1 cup of pear puree

1 x 8" Silverwood square tin with the removable bottom

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Butter the bottom and sides of a Silverwood 8” loose base cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and using a stand or hand mixer beat on medium speed until light in color and smooth about 2-3 minutes.

Next add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Whisk together with the buttermilk and pear puree.

With the mixer on low speed add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until combine.  Next add ½ of the buttermilk/pear puree mixture and mix until combine.  Continue this process ending with the flour mixture.

Using a rubber spatula fold in the chopped pears and walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove the sides of the pan and allow the cake to cool completely. 

When cool remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment paper and place on a serving dish.

Mascarpone Buttercream

4 ounces of Room Temperature Unsalted Butter (114 grams)

1 ½ Cups of Powdered Sugar. (180 grams)

Pinch of Salt

½ Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract                            

4 ounces of Mascarpone Cheese (114 grams)

Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a bowl and using a stand or hand mixer beat on medium speed until light in color and smooth about 2-3 minutes.

Next add the mascarpone and beat on low until just incorporated and smooth.  Do not over mix at this point.

Spread the buttercream over the cake and garnish with pear chips (recipe below).

Pear Chips 

These can be done days in advance and stored in an air tight container.

1 Large Bosc Pear

Preheat the oven to 225° F or 107° C

Using a knife or mandolin slice the pear lengthwise very thin.

Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake in the oven to 1 ½ hours.

Turn the slices over and bake an additional 1 ½ hours. 

Remove the pan from the oven and place the chips directly on a rack to cool. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.

Recipe and picture courtesy of Tina Zaccardi, @theitaliancookie

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