A simple and easy pear hazelnut cake recipe to indulge during the festive holiday season
Hazelnuts cake are known to be fancy and delicate and specially prepared during the hildays season . From hazelnut crunch cakes to hazelnuts apple cake limitless combinations and hazelnut cake recipes are available and easy to make . Plus they are easily adapted to become gluten free beside beeing naturally so moist and rich.
The challenge in hazelnut recipes though , is making it light and suitable for the end of heavy meal or with a cup of you favorite hot drink . And this is why i combined it with the fresh and sweet taste of pears which are in season now and should be enjoyed as much as we can .
For this pear hazelnut cake i choosed a firm flesh pears variety : lighly acid and firm to resist the baking and keep its shape inside of the cake which is a " French butter " pear variety also known as "Beurré Hardy" in French. But you can also use "Anjou" , "Bosc" or not so ripe "Comice" pears as well .
Baking with pears 101 :
Pears are widely used in their cooked froms in desserts especially in many French recipes and there are many techniques to cook them depending on the final wished result. pears can be poached, baked, raw , seered in butter and or caramel or even grilled for a summery touch to be eaten with a bowl of vanilla icecream .
Poached pears are featured in one of the most loved classical French dessert : "la poire belle Hélène" which is simply served covered with rich melted chocolate and filled with vanilla icecream .
Poaching pears technique : Pears are pealed , rubbed with lemon juice ( to keep them from turning brown ) then placed in a simmering light sirop that can be flavored with Vanilla , Star Anise , cinnamon or even Tonka among other spices . The maximum cooking time should be 4 to 5 min so the pear can keep it's shape and have a soft texture to it.
Which is mostly used for tarts from the pear tarte tatin to the classic almond and pears "Tart Bourdaloue".
To get a perfectly caramelized pear tarte tatin, mix the raw pear pieces in some spices (if you want) along with cold butter chunks and brown sugar to get a melting caramel heaven when baked . for the tart Bourdaloue place your peeled and thinly sliced pears in some cold water along with a generous half lemon juice to keep it from turning brown when placed on the almond cream on the tart .Finish your tart with a light neutral sirop to keep it from drying out after baking.
If your pears will be baked entirely in the cake batter like in this hazelnut cake recipe use a towel to eliminate the excess water after placing your prepared pears in a lemon and water mixture. Keep the pears stem to make it easier to identify after the cake is baked and get those instagram worthy cross cut of your cake .
To center the pear in your cake place 1/4 of the batter first in your baking pan then use a piping bag to fill the space between the pears and the baking pan edges and make homogeneously .
General tips for baking woth Hazelnuts :
__Tip 1: __ Toast your hazelnuts or hazelnuts flour a little bit before using it to release it's deep nutty aroma but do not over do it or it will start releasing it'snatural oils and will make your final cake dence and heavy .
__Tip 2: __ Do not use finely grinded hazelnut flour keep some bigger hazelnut pieces to ass a crunchy texture to the cake .
Tip 3: Use whisked egg whites to make your hazelnut cake recipe airy and light. It integrates some extra air in the batter instead of just whisking the whole eggs with sugar like in most cakes because even with the levening agent like baking powder or baking soda the hazelnut flour have a tendency to fall down and be dence and heavy .
Pear Hazelnut cake
- 100 gr Hazelnut Flour
- 150 gr Flour
- 3 eggs
- 80 gr brown Sugar
- 10 gr Baking powder
- 75 gr melted butter
- 150 gr greek yogurt
- 1 ts vanilla extract
- 4 medium-small sized pears ( around 400 gr of pears )
- 1 Bean of Tonka
- 200 gr sweet condenced Milk ( for the dulce de Leche)
- some choped Hazelnuts for decoration
- Start the pear and hazelnut cake recipe with preparing the pears : peel the pears , rub them with some lemon juice then poach them with the Tonka pod in a simmering water for 3 min. Let it cool down aside.
- In a big bowl seperate the egg whites and whisk then until having a stiff pick .
- In an another bowl place the egg yalks , sugar , vanilla extract and whisk until the become white-ish , then add in the greek yogurt and mix until homogenous.
- Sift the flour , baking pwder then mix it with the hazelnut flour, then integrate it grdually to your egg yolks mixture .
- Now add the melted butter to loosen the batter then fold in the egg whites gently to get a fluffy light final batter.
- Prehear your oven to 180 C then in a greased loaf bread baking sheet place 1/4 of the batter followed by the pears and then with a piping bag try to center the pears i your baking sheet and away from the edges .
- Bake the cake for 3o to 35 min .
- While the cake is baking , place the condenced milk in a pan and cook it on a medium heat for 2o minutes while stirring it until it turns into a beautiful carame color . Check it's texture if it is too thick add soome hot water too loosen it and get a sticky dulce de Leche texture .
- Let your cake coold down and decorate it with the Dulce de Leche and some chopped hazelnuts .