I don't make cake often, but when I do, it's over the top. This cake is the ultimate show stopper, but surprisingly, very easy. This was the first time I made caramel by myself and I gotta say - this is a really easy peasy version of salted caramel. Still very addicting though. You'll be making this one on repeat over the Holiday season.
Sticky Caramel Pear Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 60 minutes Yield: 8-10 slices
For the cake
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups caramel chips
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the poached pear and caramel
4 cups cold water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 pears, peeled
1/4 cup heavy cream
flaky sea salt
Fresh whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 300 F, Begin by making the cake. In a medium sized sauce pan over medium low heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, caramel chips, and boiling water. Stir until fully melted, then transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool.
Whisk in the the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and sea salt until fully combined, then transfer the batter to an 8 inch greased and floured cake pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off and allow the cake to sit in the oven for another 30 mins.
While the cake is baking, make the poached pears. In a medium saucepan, combine the cold water, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and vanilla extract. Bring the mixture up to a boil on high, then add the pears. Place a small plate on top of the pears to keep them submerged. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pears.
Poke holes in the slightly cooled cake and drizzle 1/4 cup of the poaching liquid over top.
Return 2/3 cup of the poaching liquid to the heat. Over high heat, boil the liquid down until it reaches "softball" stage (235 F). This means when you drop a small bit in ice water, it forms a soft, pliable ball. Once it reached this stage, remove the caramel from heat and stir in the heavy cream. Once it stops bubbling, stir in the flaky sea salt. Let cool.
Top the cooled cake with fresh whipped cream, then carefully stand the pears up on top. Spoon the caramel over the pears and whipped cream, and serve immediately.