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Spiced Pear Cake with Maple Buttercream and Salted Caramel Sauce

Nov 25, 2015

It's impressive how time flies by. It didn't feel like a long time ago since I've packed my things and moved from Moscow to Paris, then to Brazil/Panama/Colombia, then to Canada and again to Paris.
What felt like would take forever is finally over, and now I'm finally settling between the CN Tower and some chilly winds coming from Lake Ontario.

As hard as it was to leave Paris and all the amazing people I met there, it's good to feel like you have a place to stay, and it's even better to have a reasonably sized kitchen again :)

These past five months I spent studying, baking, learning (and, erm… drinking wine) were the best I could ever have. And now that I'm back, I needed to put everything in action.

It took me some time to realize what I wanted to do, baking-wise. For the good or for the bad, I knew my way though the grocery stores in Paris, and I knew that in Canada that would be way too different.
My biggest and main complain still is about the dairy products. I feel like crying everytime I need to choose between the two or three possible brands of butter in the supermarket. The only bright side is that we have dry butter available easily in some stores (one of them happen to be right next to my house).
However, to be very honest, I could easily find almond flour, potato starch, marzipan and real vanilla in the market. I think I can live with that.

Now that groceries were sorted out, I needed inspiration. I wanted to do something with pears, but I didn't know what exactly. All it took was this post from Linda Lomelino, which I absolutely admire. After some ideas from here and there, I came out with this amazing spiced pear cake (adapted from her recipe), maple buttercream, poached pears and salted caramel sauce.

As you can probably imagine, culinary school made me way too tough and I did all that by hand. Yes, even the buttercream. Unless you have huge strong arms like me, I don't recommend that. Use either a hand mixer or a stand mixer for that and your life will be much easier. However, the cake is better to make by hand (no whisking involved, I promise!).

This buttercream is a little bit different from the standard ones and it is harder to work with it. It's also a little unstable in warmer places. But I guarantee that it's worth the trouble -- it's way less sweet than regular ones and matches perfectly with the rest of the cake.

All in all, this was a good way to get back baking at home. My friends who tried it were absolutely in heaven. I also tried a small bit -- I need to lose all this butter weight I gained while in Paris -- and I can assure you, this is a big hit for the holidays.



Creamy Fudge Filling

Shelf-stable for 7 days, extremely adaptable and price-conscious filling recipe. This one stays creamy even after refrigerating or freezing without changes to texture or taste. Freaking. Game. Changer.

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