Have you ever had a cake that shrinks? My Pear and Ginger Cake did just that!
We were spending the long weekend at at the annual Auckland Folk Festival. We take our campervan and set up for three days of wonderful music - workshops, concerts, dancing, stalls etc
It is so busy with so many choices of things on that I find it best to have most of the food pre prepared so I spent an afternoon cooking.
I knew we were having about 5 extra visitors who would use our van as a base for meals etc so wanted to bake a cake. Having a box of pears in the fridge I wanted to use, I searched for a Pear Cake Recipe and found one Nigella Lawson makes. I don't usually make her recipes but I decided to try this cake recipe as it used more pears than the other recipes I found.This was for 6 pears !
I felt it might be a little lacking in flavour as there were no extra spices or flavourings, so I added 2 teaspoons of ground ginger to the chopped pears and 1/4 cup of finally chopped ginger to the batter.
Apart from leaving the cake uncovered a little long and it over browning on one side.....I must check as my oven seems to be cooking a little unevenly.... the cake came out of the oven looking good. A large, square cake that would be great for cutting when we had our guests. It was packed in the van and not opened for another two days.
How Could a Cake Shrink So Much?
Every evening there was a three hour concert in a huge marquee, so I decided to take the cake with knife, napkins etc and have it at half time. I opened the cake container and was somewhat perplexed as the cake seemed to have shrunk both in height and width!
Wondering if I was just thinking it was larger than it really was, I cut into the cake and found it was really moist, in fact... completely soggy in the middle. It was cooked - that wasn't the problem. But it was just almost too soggy to handle. I dished out from around the edges as those pieces while moist were able to be handled..... and everyone loved the flavour.
Pear and Ginger are a lovely combination. On pondering the strange cake behaviour I came to the conclusion that the juice from so many cooked pears had run out since the cake had sat for two days before cutting, which in turn created the very soggy, shrunken cake.
I would recommend the Pear and Ginger Cake recipe, but also suggest it needs eating straight away and is not a cake to keep.....OR you could use less pears.
It would be a lovely dessert cake with some whipped cream or a dollop of Greek Yoghurt and is certainly a great way to use up all those pears if you have a tree.
Brought up baking from a young age I love to make delicious cakes to share with family and friends. Much like my mother, I can be one of those cooks who measure by "eye" rather than with a measure, and invariably add in or take out ingredients depending on what is in my cupboard. However, I do also appreciate the need to follow a recipe exactly for best results, as the "pour it in" method is really for those who have done a lot of baking over many years. I use this method for new recipes. So come share my recipes and learn some baking skills if you are not confident.