Ginger Cake with Wine-Poached Pears

Ginger Cake with Wine-Poached Pears

Robust on its own, our Ginger Cake with Wine-Poached Pears reaches new heights crowned with wine-poached pears, chocolate-covered walnuts, and drizzles of butterscotch sauce.

Ginger Cake with Wine-Poached Pears
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Wine-Poached Pears (recipe follows)
  • Butterscotch Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Chocolate-Covered Walnuts (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8x3-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour. Line pan with parchment paper, and spray again.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sour cream with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar, beating until mixture is fluffy. Beat in molasses. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and ginger. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until mixture is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour, covering cake with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Top cake with Wine-Poached Pears, drizzle with Butterscotch Sauce, and sprinkle with Chocolate-Covered Walnuts.

Wine-Poached Pears
Makes 6
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced fresh ginger
  • 2 (2-inch) pieces orange peel
  • 6 small pears, peeled
  1. In a large saucepan, combine wine, 2 cups water, sugar, ginger, and orange peel. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Add pears; return to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until pears are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let pears cool in poaching liquid. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Butterscotch Sauce
Makes approximately ¾ cup
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in salt and vanilla extract. Let cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm before using.

Chocolate-Covered Walnuts
Makes approximately 3 cups
  • 3 cups walnut halves
  • 1 (4-ounce) bar bittersweet chocolate, melted
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip walnut halves in melted chocolate, shaking off excess. Place on prepared pan, and let stand until chocolate is firm. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For more harvest-perfect recipes, see “Orchard Abundance” on page 109 of the September 2018 issue, available for purchase on newsstands and online.

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