William-Sonoma Warm Pear Cake with Walnut Caramel Topping
1 cup walnuts
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup golden brown sugar, firmly packed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup pear nectar
1 fresh pear, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon milk
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 7 - 10 minutes. Watch them closely, they burn easily!
Let cool and chop coarsely; set aside.
Leave the oven set at 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan with 2-inch sides.
Flour mixture: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
In a large bowl, using any electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together ¾ cup of the brown sugar, the 5 tablespoons melted butter,eggs and nectar until blended.
Stir in the flour mixture just until combined and then the pear cubes.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Transfer pan to a rack.
While this cools:.
In a medium-sized, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the toasted walnuts, the remaining ¼ cup of brown sugar, the ¼ cup butter and the milk.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce consistency, about 3 minutes.
Pour the hot mixture over the hot cake in the pan. Let stand for 3 minutes.
Slowly, Release the pan sides and place the cake on a plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
FROM : Cakes, Cupcakes and Cheesecakes by Williams-Sonoma.
Pairs Well With
Macadamias or hazelnuts are also good choices for this cake. It is best served warm from the oven, but it can be allowed to cool completely in its pan, covered with aluminum foil and stored at room emperature for up to 8 hours. To reheat, place in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if you like.