Monday, September 28, 2009

Pear-Ginger-Orange Blooper

Okay, so this is the recipe I started out to bake. Pear Ginger Upside Down Cake. Doesn't that sound delicious?

Cranky had gifted us with a big bag of pears and oranges from his very prolific trees so I was eager to make something pearish and I just happened to see this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs. How's that for great timing?

When I brought out all the ingredients, however, I realized I didn't have molasses. My choice was the run out to the store or to improvise. Not being a huge fan of molasses, anyway, I decided to try substituting real maple syrple, of which I am extremely fond and of which I had plenty. I could just imagine that maple would add a nice note to the pear and ginger flavors in the cake.

Then, I was looking at the oranges that came with the pears and recalling that Cookiecrumb told me that the zest was the best part of their oranges, so I decided to add an orange worth of zest to the topping for the cake. Another improvement!

Later, right after I had loaded all the (fairly stiff - I shoulda known) batter into the cake pan on top of the pears and topping, I realized that I had left out entirely a key ingredient, the buttermilk. Well, um, that is, I didn't have any buttermilk, either, so I was going to substitute kefir that I had on hand but now had forgotten... *sigh* Some days are like that.

Anyway, I could do nothing but slide it into the oven anyway and hope for the best. I did that and checked it frequently as it rose beautifully and turned a lovely golden brown. When the cake tester came out clean, I cooled it a bit, released it from the springform pan and let it cool completely on a rack.

It was simply delicious. One of the best mistakes I've ever made. The pears were firm and sweet; the topping was sweet but not excessively so. There was a nice hint of ginger without being overwhelming and it complemented beautifully both the orange and the pear flavors. Next time, I will remember to add the kefir, as the crumb was tight and slightly dry, more like pound cake than cake-cake, but I will keep the maple syrup and the orange zest in the recipe for sure. I may add zest to the batter, as well.

It was so good that I had to cut it up and give it away to the neighbors to keep us from eating the whole thing. I credit my baking guardian angel with keeping my mistakes from turning this cake into a true blooper.

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Blogger cookiecrumb said...

OK, that is astoundingly awesome. I am quivering. Brava!!
I guess you don't have my phone number!
(Oh, wait. I have the trees.)

Monday, September 28, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

There's a woman at my work who bakes to relieve stress, we, her workmates, eat the results. She makes an awesome pear cake rather like that, though I may drop a hint about maple syrup.

Monday, September 28, 2009  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Awesome substitutions to make an even better cake! Brava!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, it was pretty darn good but maybe not all the way to astoundingly awesome. :-)

Morgan, I used to take my baking in to work, too - students make things like that disappear in record time! Now, I depend on my neighbors to keep me from becoming even rounder.

Nancy, gracias, amiga!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009  

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