Monday, 2 February 2015

Pear and Courgette Cake with Salted Caramac Frosting

Pear and Courgette Cake with Salted Caramac Frosting

Aaaaand…we are back into naughtier bakes again! February is upon us, and that means we can indulge again a little doesn’t it?

To be honest this cake, I made in January just over a week ago. We were invited to my cousin’s for Burn’s Night (it’s a Scottish thing –check it out if you haven’t heard of it) and I said I would provide dessert.

As you know, I like to try the unusual and I really wanted to make something which would leave the others guessing what they were eating. I looked online for some inspiration and came up with the idea of a pear and courgette cake (or zucchini depending which side of the Atlantic you are on).


The recipe I based it on used carrots, but I wondered what the addition of the green cucumber like vegetable would be like. The cake called for lots of canned pears, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. Plus some spices which you added to the usual cakey ingredients – fat, sugar and eggs.


The cake was very liquid when I poured it into the cake pans and I was worried! Would it be too moist? After I baked it a skewer came out clean, I left them in the pans for a bit. When I turned them out, I thought they’d flop everywhere but they kept their shape.


I decided to also use another ingredient for the buttercream which I was going to decorate the cake with. Instead of white chocolate frosting I used caramac bars. The sweet, slightly caramel like light ‘chocolate’ bars. And for added ‘showyoffedness’ I added some ground up rock salt making it a ‘salted caramac’ frosting. And since I have made this, I heard Chris Evans on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show talk about Caramacs, then Kevin at ‘The Crafty Larder’ mentioned them in a post. Maybe they are due a resurgence.

Pear and Courgette Cake with Salted Caramac Frosting

As for the verdict on the cake? My mum initially thought it was ‘clootie dumpling’ (another Scottish thing – check it out). No one guessed there was courgette in it, but everyone loved it. I took some into work and my good friend Joanne actually said it was the loveliest thing I’d made – and I’ve taken quite a lot into work!



The cake, as I said, is moist with a capital M. The inside isn’t the most photogenic and doesn’t do it justice. But if you make it, take my word for it – you will LOVE it!!



Pear and Courgette Cake with Salted Caramac Frosting


Thumbnail Url Moist fruity cake with a sweet buttercream
Adapted from eatcannedpears.com
Cuisine: Dessert Category: Cake Yields: 1 layer cake
Prep Time: Cook Time: Total Time:
 
Ingredients
Cake Ingredients:
  • 680 grams grated courgette
  • 1 kilogram canned pears, drained and cubed
  • 140 grams dried cranberries
  • 140 grams chopped walnuts
  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 big eggs
  • 280 grams granulated sugar
  • 280 grams dark brown sugar
  • 250 ml vegetable oil

Buttercream Ingredients:
  • 100 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 250 grams icing sugar
  • 120g grams caramac bars
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoon rock salt
  • 30 grams caramac for decoration
 
Instructions
Cake Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C and line, grease and flour 3 8” round cake tins.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the grated courgette, chopped pears, cranberries and walnuts.
  • In another bowl whisk together the flour, bicarb, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the oil and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs and beat until slightly thickened in texture.
  • Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients and stir through.
  • Add the courgette/pear mix and fold through.
  • Divide the batter between the three pans equally and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre.
  • Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.

Buttercream Method:
  • Beat the butter and icing sugar together until creamy. Add the milk and stir through.
  • Melt the 120 grams of caramac, in the microwave, and let cool slightly before adding to the icing mix. Fold it in.
  • Spread one third of the mix on top of each cake, then stack them up. Decorate the top layer with broken bits of caramac and sprinkle with the salt.
  • Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.



16 comments:

  1. Such a glorious crown of Caramac! Salted too... yum!

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    Replies
    1. I know, bit of a play on salted caramel - but I'm sure you got that!

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  2. Love, love, love this cake, how unique and I love the filling and topping x

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  3. I love sound of the courgette and pear together. I think I may have to give that combo a whirl.

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  4. Ahhhh caramacs. I remember them. Love this cake. Yes the inside ain't pretty but who's looking? It's all about the taste!

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  5. I love this cake cause I love zucchinni and pears!!

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  6. This sounds really good Stuart and so interesting too! I'm a recent convert of courgette in baking, and I love the twist on the frosting.

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  7. I'm a big fan of courgette cakes and I used to be a big fan of caramacs when I was just a little chap. I haven't tasted one for many years. This would suit me very well. I've never thought of the great poet and caramacs at the same time before and that's my loss.

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  8. This sounds amazing. Forget naughty..... with all that fruit and veg it is positively virtuous (well it would be in my house anyway!) The Caramac takes me back (a long way) too! I haven't had one of those for years!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Almost a portion of 5 a day in one slice :D

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