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.