Thursday, December 16, 2010
Dessert For Breakfast? I'm In!
Tomorrow evening my mum is flying in (yeah!) for Christmas- and it would be an understatement to say that both Nahla and I are super-excited! Well, in fairness, Nahla, much as we have told her, probably does not get the hype about it too much- but when she wakes up Saturday morning and her beloved Bestemor is her, I know she will be beaming with joy! And so will we all- and enjoying these pre-Christmas days together will be perfect, and much like the Christmases of my childhood, where the whole word was confined within the walls of our home, when the smell of baking lingered through the house and when everything that was good and safe and Christmas'y was being with your family. Which, to be honest, it still is.
My dad is coming down December 22nd, and so we (Tonje, Emine, Nahla and me) will have a few days to just be utterly girly with our mum/grandmother, and make, bake and shop to our hearts content. And as I am a firm believer in starting as you mean to go on, I think some yummy yummy baked goods for breakfast Saturday morning will start off our days of family fun in the most perfect way. The clever people at Desserts For Breakfast , which is so an idea I can get onboard with(!), tempted me with this delicious- and rather fittingly for the season- recipe of Cognac, caramel, pecan and pear pudding cake, and so tomorrow, I feel some intense ingredients shopping coming on!
Cognac-Caramel, Pecan, and Pear Pudding Cake
For poached pears:
7 dl water
2 Tbspn sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tspn cloves
1 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
6 mini pears
1. In a small pot, combine the water, sugar, and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
2. Meanwhile, peel the pears and hollow out the seeds using a melon baller from the bottom end.
3. Poach the pears in the simmering water until fork tender all the way through, about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the pears.
4. Remove the pears from the liquid and set aside.
For cognac caramel:
2 Tbspn butter
3,5 dl brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 tspn coarse salt
1,8 dl water
0,6 dl cognac
1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
2. Once the butter is melted, add the brown sugar and coarse salt. Cook until the sugar has melted.
3. Slowly add the water to the sugar and bring to a bowl. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add the cognac. Set aside.
For pudding cake:
6 Tbspn butter
0,6 dl pecans, toasted and finely ground
2,4 dl AP flour
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
1 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1,2 dl brown sugar, packed
2,4 dl milk
1 tspn vanilla extract
powdered sugar, optional
heavy cream, optional
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a small saucepan with a light-colored bottom, melt the butter. Cook over medium heat until the solids in the butter drop to the bottom and brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Solids will continue to brown as it sits.
3. Combine the ground toasted pecans, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together lightly beaten eggs and brown sugar. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Slowly add the brown butter, making sure to incorporate it fully into the liquid.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two stages, combining thoroughly. Do not overmix.
6. Divide the batter amongst the six ramekins/mini cocottes. Pour the cognac caramel over the batter, diving amongst the six ramekins. Place a single poached pear in the center of each ramekin, pressing down into the batter. Batter should reach the near the top brim of the cocotte.
7. Bake for ~30 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are dry and a toothpick insert 3/4 of the way in the cake comes out cleanly. Remove from oven and let cool at least five minutes before serving.
8. Serve with a light dusting of powdered sugar or heavy cream.
I hope I can manage all the different steps in this recipe- and if a success, at least I'll know what to make for next Thursday and BF arriving in Oslo for the holidays!
(Photo Credit and Recipe from here)