Almond-Hazelnut Torte with Caramel and Pears
Posted: 12 February 2012 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4783
Joined  2008-04-16

Finally found a bit of time to bake, and made this delicious Old World torte.  The cake is actually the bittersweet cocoa-almond genoise, except that I subbed ground toasted hazelnuts for the cocoa and instead of including water in the batter, syruped the cake with the leftover caramel/pear juice from cooking the pears.  I also backed out a little of the butter to account for the higher fat content of the hazelnuts versus the cocoa.  For an experiment it worked out pretty well!  The flavor was amazing- toasted almonds, toasted hazelnuts, plenty of butter, a vanilla bean (I scraped the seeds into the butter/sugar mixture before whipping) and a touch of almond extract.  My only gripe was that my nut flour wasn’t as fine as I like, so the texture was a bit nubbier than what I consider to be ideal for this cake.  If I make it again (very good chance that I will!), I may try a 10” pan in order to have the cake in a thinner layer and more pears smile

For the pears, I sliced four large pears into eighths.  Made caramel in the microwave with about 2/3 cup sugar, then stirred in a couple of tablespoons of butter and poured it out into a thin layer on the bottom of my largest saute pan.  Put the pears on top of the caramel and cooked over low heat for 15 minutes, turned the pears over and cooked until they were almost done (but not yet totally tranluscent).  Cooled the pears and let them soak for a while in the caramel-pear juice syrup, added a small squeeze of lemon juice after tasting the syrup. 

Used a tablespoon of the caramel-pear syrup to sweeten the whipped cream, it was all very yummy!

Image Attachments
Pear Nut Torte.jpgPear Nut Torte Slice.jpg
 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 February 2012 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  291
Joined  2011-10-15

Julie, it looks so pretty and sounds delicious…..I love the idea of a caramelized pear topping added after baking (as opposed to something like an upside down pear cake)...it looks as though the fruit retains more of its integrity with this method.

Julie - 12 February 2012 04:51 PM

Made caramel in the microwave with about 2/3 cup sugar

I didn’t know you could make caramel in the microwave!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 February 2012 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3147
Joined  2010-04-25

Wow, Julie, that is amazing. 

Thank you for all those fabulous notes on how you can modify the genoise, as well as how to prepare fruit for a cake!!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 February 2012 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4783
Joined  2008-04-16

Thank you both!

I was thinking of an upside down cake, and I was going to make one with the golden almond from TCB, but I’m never completely happy with the way they look, with the fruit sort of flat and gooey.  This is like a pear tarte tatin, but with a nut torte instead of a pie crust.  I think it would be sublime with the golden almond cake underneath the caramelized pears as well. 

Hoping to find time to make a chocolate heart-shaped cake for Valentine’s, but not sure if I will pull it off.  For work, I’m now developing recipes to be used for both a user guide and web content, and am amazed at how many iterations it takes- just for one pizza crust recipe, I must have baked something like 20+ pizzas in a row!  This was my first sweet bake since Christmas, a long stretch for me smile

Sophia, caramel in the microwave is very easy, but you do have to watch it, no multi-tasking.  Just put the sugar and water in a pyrex and bring it to a boil, then remove and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Then continue to boil it in the microwave until you see it thicken, and finally start to turn amber.  Stop the microwave as soon as it turns a very light caramel and let it sit until it reaches the color you like.  It will continue to darken in the cup, so once it gets to the right color add butter or cream or be ready to pour it out.  It helps if the sides of the pyrex are buttered, to keep it from boiling over, but that isn’t necessary if the cup is large enough.  For caramel cages/bands/toppers, I always make it in the microwave, the pyrex spout is easy to pour from and I can zap it for a few seconds if it gets too cool.

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 February 2012 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3147
Joined  2010-04-25

Great idea to “flip” the upside down cake—you are right, they are never quite as attractive as one wishes, and this really succeeds in being both beautiful and fruity!!

Your new job sounds fascinating!!!!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 February 2012 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1175
Joined  2009-11-24

That does sound delicious.  And, I also thank you for sharing all of the details.  I look forward to being so confident to experiment like that.  I imagine writing a user guide gives you an idea of what it is like to write a book.

 Signature 

So many recipes - so little time.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 February 2012 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  106
Joined  2011-09-03

This is beautiful and sounds oh so yummy! Thanks for the instructions on how to make microwave caramel as well- I didn’t know you could do that either!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 February 2012 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  291
Joined  2011-10-15

Julie, thank you for the microwave caramel method. I’ll have to try that soon.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 February 2012 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  223
Joined  2009-11-20

Julie ,
That looks so delicious! I like the ratio of fruit to cake.  Any left? smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 February 2012 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1554
Joined  2011-02-17

It looks amazing! The way you arranged the fruit and they crumb, it’s so delicious-looking!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 February 2012 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4783
Joined  2008-04-16

Thanks for all the kind words!  red face

It was a delicious cake, and with the help of family, it’s all gone (next time I’ll save you a slice, Dar).

Happy Valentine’s Day- hope you all are happily putting the final touches on some heart-themed baking smile

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top