For me, apples and pears are quintessentially winter so they are the inspiration behind this spicy apple and pear cake with cream cheese frosting and salted caramel. The cake itself is not too sweet and has a dense, almost pudding-like texture. The sweetness of the cream cheese frosting and the salted caramel drizzle finishes this off perfectly.
Takelot asked me to take part in their #makewintergreatagain campaign It was a big YES from me.
I was thrilled to discover that they also have a very comprehensive baking section on their site and even though I’m pretty well stocked up on baking equipment, there were a few pieces of equipment that I simply had to have
4 pieces of equipment to up your baking game:
How often have you tried to lift a cake onto a plate using egg lifters and prayer? I’ve wanted one of these lifters for ages as it can effortlessly move a whole cake from a cake icing wheel to a cake stand and visa versa.
2. Silicone baking mats
These are essential for lining cookie sheets and deliver even non-stick baking results. If you want to make perfect macarons, the macaron mat is the answer.
A cake-decorating stand is absolutely essential and will have you instantly decorating your cake like a pro. I can’t believe how easy it is to ice a cake with precision with it.
4. Blow torch
When you want to put the finishing touches on a lemon meringue pie or to Brule your crème caramel, a blow torch is an essential piece of equipment.
I wouldn’t even attempt to ice anything without using an offset spatula
Recipe – makes 1 large 2-layer cake – serves 12
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup of sunflower oil
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 x 400gm tin pie apple slices – roughly chopped
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- 3 pears, peeled and grated/chopped (aprox 1/1/2 )
Preheat the oven to 180 C
Line 2 x 22 – 23cm spring form round cake tins with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add the oil, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, and continue to beat.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and add this to the mixer with the other ingredients and mix briefly until well incorporated.
Fold in the chopped fruit until it’s well mixed and divide the mixture between the two baking tins and bake for an hour (60 minutes) until firm. You know the cake is baked when a sharp knife is inserted into the middle and comes out clean.
*tip* if the top of the cake is getting too dark but it is not yet baked through, loosely cover it with a piece of tin foil around halfway through the baking time.
Allow the cake to cool on a rack before removing it from the tin
Cream cheese Icing
- 100gms butter (room temperature)
- 125gms cream cheese
- 3 cups of icing sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Using an electric mixer, whisk all the above ingredients until pale and fluffy. Decorate the cake when it is cooled.
- 200g sugar
- 80g butter, cut into small cubes
- ½ cup cream
- a pinch of sea salt flakes such as Maldon
Dissolve the sugar in a heavy-based pot. *Be extremely cautious here, as molten sugar can burn you if it comes in contact with your skin. Mix the sugar gently as it dissolves to prevent over browning in patches.
As soon as the sugar has dissolved, remove it from the heat.
Add the butter in parts while whisking continuously.
Return the pot to the heat and add the cream, still whisking vigorously.
When the sauce is smooth and well combined, remove it from the heat, add a pinch of salt and stir to dissolve. Allow it to cool completely, then stir in another sprinkle of salt but do not let it dissolve – the crunchiness adds texture. Taste it and add more salt if desired.
Drizzle the salted caramel over the iced apple and pear cake.
*This post has been sponsored by Takealot
Find me on Instagram