Thursday, September 23, 2010

Poached Pear and Almond Souffle Cake

Last night I had a little dinner party with some good friends who enjoy good food. I was in charge of dessert (any surprises there?) and I made this:
It was delicious and pretty easy to make! They look beautiful and you poach the pears in a liquid that smells like Christmas! Plus it gave me an excuse to make a purchase I've wanted for a while: Ramekins! That's probably a dumb thing to want, but they are pretty and white and I'm excited to bake lots of good things in them.

This recipe also led me to two other exciting things: mytartlette, where I found the recipe via foodgawker--an awesome food blog aggregate, which I found via Jacqueline!

And here is the recipe {via mytartlette}

Poached Pear And Almond Fallen Souffle Cakes:

Makes 6

Note: you can core the pears from the bottom to about 1 inch from the top with an apple corer but these are so tiny that I just removed the stem button at the bottom. Everything else in the core baked to very soft texture and the seeds were easy to remove while eating (kind of like tails on baked shrimp).

For the poached pears:
6 mini d'Anjou pears, peeled (or other small pears like Forelles or Seckel)
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2-3 cloves
2-3 cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
5-6 allspice berries
1-2 star anise
1/2 lemon
4 cups (1 liter) water

For the cakes:
3 tablespoons (40gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1
90ml) heavy cream
1 cup ground almonds (blanched or skin on - your preference)
1/4 cup (40gr) sorghum flour (or use 1/4 cup all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder

Prepare the pears:
Place the pears, spices, lemon and water in tall saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat and let them simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the pears are just soft (poke with a toothpick to check).
Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and allow to cool on paper towel or baking rack.

Prepare the cakes:
Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.
Slightly butter or spray 6 ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Set aside.
In the bowl if an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffly (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one a time and beat well in between each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla, heavy cream, almonds, flour and baking powder and beat until incorporated. Fill each ramekins about 1/3 full with the batter and place a poached pear in the center.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010


I slept badly last night. Often when I have crazy dreams this is the case. I can't remember most of the dream, but I remember it involves these:

in a very strange way. I saw a commercial for them yesterday, and it is an intriguing idea, but dream worthy?

The September Issue

This one goes out to Mizz Mitton because I know how much she liked "The September Issue". Yesterday my family go it on Netflix and even though I'd already seen it--I was bored and watched it again. I think I am kind of in a documentary phase because it was closely followed by another viewing of "New York Doll".
Both great moves, and I was so inspired that I sat down and went through my September 2010 copy of Vogue. For some odd reason, I have started getting a subscription to Vogue that I never signed up for. Since I was off in Provo I'm not even sure when it started, but when I came back in June there was a copy of Vogue with my name on it. I am enjoying it while it lasts, but it certainly is mysterious.

I loved this feature, and after the film I am a decided Grace Coddington fan. This fifties/sixties inspired glamour seems like it's going to be big for fall--I'm excited!
Also, I've decided that it's time for me to give up trying to wear deodorant with any kind of scent in it. Does anyone else have this problem? With scent either :

1. My skin gets incredibly itchy.


2. For some reason I smell it really powerfully all day, and it gives me a headache.

I am currently suffering from the latter.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cabin Fever

The weather here and Portland has been beautiful so far, but due to some unfortunate circumstances I haven't been able to leave the house much lately, and am going a little stir crazy. So if anyone wants to meet me at the cemetery gates, or anywhere else-- I think I am going to take a walk.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Becoming One With the Earth.

This afternoon my mom said, "Will you become one with the earth?"

"?"--I was thinking that maybe she was going to ask me to weed, which I would have declined since it was pouring outside.

"Can you take out the compost?"

So I became one with the earth. It was especially earthy because it was muddy outside (we'll see if Martha ever forgives me for muddying her shoes--since we wear the same size) and when I opened the compost there were worms and things writhing about. It was delightful.

Also, hello from my brand new macbook pro! So excited!
Hopefully this means more blogging. I've been pretty busy back in Portland so far--I really wish I could have an unpacking montage, like in the movies, to speed up the process. But as fast as I try to work--no montage.

I must not be trying hard enough.