Olive Oil and Sauternes Cake with Roast PearsPrint Recipe


Once again I get to raphsodise about yet another Neil Perry masterpiece. I found this recipe while I was trawling through my Neil Perry file looking for one of his Thai curries to cook. I was thinking that something hot, spicy and flavoursome might keep the Winter blues at bay. Instead I found this and got very distracted.

Once again Neil Perry embraces flavour in his typical fashion, in this instance he also embraces his passion for wine, using Sauterne in every component – from the cake through to the syrup. The olive oil gives the cake an incredibly moist texture and paired with the Sauturne you have an indulgent and subtly boozie dessert.

Thanks again Neil! And what better to way to serve this other than with the remaining Sauturne, although there actually won’t be much left from a 375ml bottle so you may have to purchase another.

Roast pears
4  beurre bosc pears, halved or quartered lengthways, core removed, stem intact
1/3 cup Sauternes dessert wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons caster sugar

½ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup Sauternes dessert wine
1/3 cup milk
2 lemons, finely grated zest only
1½ cups plain flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder

Sauternes syrup
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup Sauternes dessert wine
To serve:thick (double/heavy) cream

Preheat the oven to 180c/360f. Place the pears in a roasting tin, drizzle with the wine and oil and sprinkle with the sugar. Roast for 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and starting to caramelise. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, to make the cake, lightly grease an 11 x 22cm loaf tin, and line the base and sides with baking paper. Beat the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the oil, wine, milk and lemon zest and beat until well combined. Add the combined, sifted flour and baking powder and slowly beat until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake alongside the pears for 40 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the Sauternes syrup, place the sugar and 2 tbsp water in a small pan and stir constantly, over very low heat, without letting it boil, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat and allow the syrup to simmer, brushing the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush if necessary, until the syrup turns a golden colour. It is important to keep an eye on the syrup at all times, as once it starts to colour, it will continue to darken very quickly. Turn off the heat, add the wine and stir to combine. Some of the syrup may solidify at this point. If this is the case, return it to a very low heat until it dissolves again. Set aside to cool.

Serve the cake with the pears, drizzle with the syrup and add a dollop of cream.

Notes: The most aesthetic way to core the pear is to use a melon baller.

Source: Neil Perry

© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.

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One Response to Olive Oil and Sauternes Cake with Roast Pears

  1. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

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