Buttermilk Spice Cake with Pear Compote

I’m going to be honest. I do not have a lot to talk about today. The weather is gorgeous and I’m just about to head out the door to take a walk. I have to take advantage of this wonderful humidity free day :) I have already met up with Mr. Nutmeg Nanny for lunch and boy was it great. Although now my clothes smell like Mexican food. Oh well I guess. It’s a price to pay for a delicious meal :) Also I’m currently addicted to wild cherry Slurpees. I swear. I have had one a day for the past 4 days. I don’t even want to know the calorie count in those babies. Ok, now I feel caught up with all of you so onto the cake :)

The cake is moist and full of flavor. I love the addition of the whole vanilla bean. It adds a lot of great clean vanilla flavor. I put a dollop of  crème fraîche on top and when I took a bit of all three combined I was in heaven. This dessert felt rustic to me and paired great with a nice cup vanilla tea.  Enjoy!!!


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Buttermilk Spice Cake with Pear Compote

Ingredients:

For pear compote:

2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Large pinch of salt
3 Bosc pears - about 1 1/2 pounds total peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For buttermilk spice cake:

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon (scant) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground whole star anise
1/2 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 3-inch piece vanilla bean - split lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
3/4 cup buttermilk
Powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche

Source: Epicurious

Directions:

For pear compote:

Mix sugar, lime juice, and salt in heavy large saucepan. Add pears and toss gently to coat. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until pears are just tender, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled.

For buttermilk spice cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line pan with round of parchment paper. Sift first 9 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add lime peel; beat to blend. Beat in flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions, scraping down bowl occasionally. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake until beginning to brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on cooling rack. DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto rack; peel off parchment and turn right side up onto platter. Sift powdered sugar over. Cut into wedges. Serve with pear compote and dollop of crème fraîche.

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14 Responses to “Buttermilk Spice Cake with Pear Compote”

  1. #
    1
    Joanne — May 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I really love good old-fashioned rustic cakes! This one screams delicious.

  2. #
    2
    jenn (Bread + Butter) — May 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Yum!!! I’d like a piece of that buttermilk spice cake, please.

    Good weather can do that to a person. I’m the same way. Talk later, enjoy the weather. :)

  3. #
    3
    5 Star Foodie — May 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    This is a lovely cake! I love all the aromatic spices here and so good with pears!

  4. #
    4
    Mimi — May 7, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Tasty looking cake. I love all the spices in it.
    Mimi

  5. #
    5
    grace — May 8, 2010 at 5:15 am

    i think your little cake looks great, especially as you’ve spruced it up with the compote and creme fraiche. slurpees are good, but they’re nothing compared to this!

  6. #
    6
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — May 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    This looks like a lovely cake! I love creme fraiche!!

  7. #
    7
    Framed — May 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    This cake is right up my alley – especially with the vanilla tea, yum!

  8. #
    8
    Heavenly Housewife — May 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

    This looks absolutely wonderful, the texture looks so moist. I want some!

  9. #
    9
    Denise @ Creative Kitchen — May 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    This looks yummy…and I sure do love vanilla tea. I drink Bigelow French Vanilla hot tea. A new one I’ve found that is really good is the 365 brand (whole foods) organic Rooibos orange vanilla creme (naturally caffeine free). It is really good! I just finished a cup with a splash of whole milk. I love hot tea!!

    I totally understand about the break. I’ve gone from 3-4 posts a month to 1-2. It is so hard to find the time sometimes, and to be honest I’m enjoying spending less time on the computer and more time in the kitchen!! And have started reading for pleasure again as well. Hopefully the time spent in the kitchen will inspire new posts which will lend to my blog ;)

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