Friday, November 12, 2010

Pear Fennel Coffee Cake

Months ago the idea of a pear fennel cake came to me in a dream.  Perhaps it was spurred by the Pear Chutney I made awhile back; I'm not sure.  Anyway, I finally got around to making it last night, and it's great!

I worked off a recipe for Apple-Almond Coffee Cake that I made last winter.  I halved it to fill a smaller pan, so I'm sorry some of the measurements are a bit awkward.  I replaced dry ginger with fresh, omitted cloves and added fennel, and used pears instead of apples.  I also "curdled" the soymilk by adding a splash of vinegar; this often makes for a moister or better-bound-together cake.

It's everything I dreamed it would be!  At first you don't really taste the fennel.  The normal coffee cake flavors--sugar, cinnamon, almonds--come through first.  Then maybe you get a little chunk of ginger.  But fennel is the taste that lingers, giving it a dynamic licoricey flavor.  I reduced the sugar from the original recipe quite a lot, and it's just right for me now, but some might want to add more.  The consistency is just dense enough, and the top and sides are slightly crispy.  However, the cake was a lot moister the day it came out of the oven, but the large quantity of pears in the cake mean that it still seems pretty moist.  And if you're drinking it with coffee, maybe it doesn't matter.  I think a bit more oil, though, would help the cake stay moist longer.

 Pear-Fennel Coffee Cake

3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 TB minced fresh ginger
1 c chopped pears
2.5 TB unsweetened applesauce
1.5 TB corn or canola oil
3/8 c brown sugar
scant 1/2 c nondairy milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2.5 TB brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c sliced almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8x8" cake pan.
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the pears and ginger . In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.  Then, add wet to dry, stirring as briefly as possible. Spread into prepared pan.
3. Mix the topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake. Bake about 30 minutes. Test for doneness. Cool on a rack and serve right out of the pan, cut into squares.

1 comment:

June said...

It looks so moist and super tasty! The fennel twist sounds really good too :)