Guinness Gingerbread Cake

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10 to 12 servings Medium
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Ingredients (10)

For the gingerbread and caramel drizzle:

  • 1 recipe Guinness Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Salty Caramel Drizzle

For the pears:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 ripe but firm pears, peeled, quartered, and cored
  • Peel from 1 orange, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler (avoid the bitter white pith)
  • 1⁄2 vanilla bean

To finish:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Summary

This dressed-up version of our Guinness Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Salty Caramel Drizzle includes pears poached in simple syrup flavored with orange peel and vanilla bean, and to add just the right note of tartness, whipped, sweetened crème fraîche. If you’d prefer to bake the cake without beer, substitute the same amount of brewed espresso or very strong coffee for the Guinness.

Game plan: Both the sauce for drizzling and the poached pears can be made up to 3 days ahead. For the caramel drizzle: Cool it to room temperature and refrigerate in a covered container. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat until smooth and pourable. For the pears: Transfer to a bowl, cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Let them lose their chill by leaving out at room temp for an hour before serving.

Instructions

  1. 1Follow the directions for our Guinness Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Salty Caramel Drizzle recipe.
  2. 2To poach the pears, bring the water and sugar to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pears and orange peel. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the back of a paring knife; add the pod and seeds to the saucepan. Adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers gently. Poach the pears until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the poaching liquid.
  3. 3To make the whipped crème fraîche, in a bowl, stir together the cream, crème fraîche, sugar, and vanilla. Beat just until soft peaks form.
  4. 4To serve, remove the pears from the poaching liquid and cut them into thick slices. Place the slices in a bowl and toss with about 1⁄4 cup of the poaching liquid. Cut the caramel-drizzled cake into wedges. Top the wedges with sliced pears and dollops of whipped crème fraîche.
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