Friday, June 17, 2011

Almond with Pears Cake and Camping!

Over the last week, we were out of Toronto camping with some friends. We camped a couple of nights in Algonquin Provincial Park, drove to Ottawa where we continued to camp and experienced a white water rafting adventure. The trip ended in Montreal (more camping). By the end of the week, I guess you could say I was all 'camped out'. It would be the first of many more camping trips this summer. I must say I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.

Prior to going away, we stocked up on a lot of food, and returned with only a few left overs. One item - some canned pears. With this, I decided to bake an Almond cake with caramelized pears.

At our campsite in Ottawa, the grounds were full of pine cones which we had to try and clear off before setting up our tent. You wouldn't want to be sleeping on top of a bed of pine cones! I thought it would be a neat idea to collect a bag of pine cones to take home. I don't know why - perhaps they might come in good use some time. Decorative purposes I guess.

This recipe was adapted from two different cake recipes...

Almond Cake with Caramelized Pears

Caramelized Pears
  • 3-4 firm pears, such as Comice (I just used canned pears)
  • 80g butter
  • 100g brown sugar
Almond Cake
  • 300g butter, softened
  • 250g castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g standard flour
  • 150g almond meal
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Milk chocolate chips (optional)
  • Almond slices (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 170C
  2. Line a 20cm springfoam cake pan with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Peel, core and quarter the pears. Melt 80g butter in a small frying pan on high heat. Add brown sugar, mix well. Add in pears, stir them around and let them sit for 8-10mins or until they soften. They should be somewhat firm but not hard. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and castor sugar together until fluffy.
  5. Gradually mix eggs into the butter mixture one egg at a time
  6. Gradually beat in flour and almond meal. Add in cinnamon and vanilla essence. Incorporate mixture well until you get a thick batter.
  7. Pour cake mixture into cake tin and flatten with a spatula.
  8. If using chocolate chips and almond slices, sprinkle over surface of cake mixture.
  9. Line the top of the cake with pear slices, pushing each one into the cake mixture a little as you go.
  10. Bake in oven on middle rack for 55-60minutes or until the topping is a golden colour and a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
  11. Remove from oven and let the cake sit for 10mins before you remove it from the cake tin.

We had a lot of fun with food during our camping trip. Eating outdoors, the warm weather, making a ill share a few photos from our camping experience:

Its not camping without s'mores! The combination of graham crackers, toasted marshmallows and a slab of chocolate.

Grilled chicken, asparagus and corn. Yummo!

Grilled steak with Maple Syrup beans! 
I cannot wait to do it all again soon. 

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