Pear and Almond Cake

Let’s go to Argentina, shall we? No, seriously. Someone get us a couple of tickets and let’s go, because I want to visit Paula’s Vintage Kitchen.

I was excited to meet Paula on Twitter after she commented on a few of my blog posts and shared them with her readers. It was that introduction that led me to her blog, where I found it to be reminiscent of coming home after being gone for so long. To me, it’s a place of comfort, joy, and memories. Upon my daily visits, I can breath in the aroma and am left with an aching hunger.

Not everyone can write a food blog, but Paula does it with flair and down-home sophistication. She makes eveything look delicious, yet simple. Her blog speaks to me because I’ve always had a fondness for learning about other cultures, the people, history, and yes, food.

When it comes to writing, I can be kind of snobby, but Paula does it with such ease and she draws you into her world of not only food, but also her handmade textiles, where she uses old tenchiques and local materials. (see: “Another Side of Me“)

Paula originally contacted me at the end of March, stating that she’d like to post something on April 18th. I had four choices: Cinnamon Sugar Challah, Pear Almond Cake, Peanut Butter Banana Loaf and Quinoa, or Peas and Harissa Chicken Salad. It was a difficult decision for me to make. Finally, I chose the Pear Almond Cake, because of my love for pears.

A week later, I began the April A-to-Z Challenge and at first I was like, “Uh oh! Paula is supposed to guest post during that time.” I was prepared to write to her and tell her that I might have to change the dates. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a problem, but as I calculated the dates with the letters of the alphabet, it turns out that the letter, “P” fell on the 18th. Whew! Is that great timing or what?

So join me in thanking Paula for being here. It’s truly an honor and I hope that she comes back! Maybe we can bring her here again to post the other recipes I had to choose from, yes?
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Hey everyone, I´m obviously Paula, and quite smitten to be guest posting here, meeting all of Gina´s readers, whom I think, are quite diverse. A nice addition to the foodies that visit my food blog everyday.

I found her blog via twitter, I think it was this post on how to provide technical support, that I read first. I was hooked. She made me laugh, and I value that a lot, especially today, when the internet is so full of information it´s hard to read things that grab our attention, and feel I have the attention span of a squirrel.

I can always count on her to perk up the beginning of the week with her monday funnies; man they´re so good. And her 80´s post is probably the best recopilation ever. If you were a teenager in the 80´s, or close, it should be mandatory to read it. And her views of social media

But since you know her already, I will go straight to the food. I´m a food blogger, so my contribution is cake.  Because you can´t go wrong with cake, right? It´s one of the best ones in my files, and a crowd pleaser.

The cake I´m sharing today was chosen by her from a few options I had. And I think it fits this blog well, since it´s really a simple cake and not some elaborate recipe that only food bloggers can be interested in.

Last year I sold a Cafe I had in Buenos Aires, where I live, and this was, together with a carrot cake, a best seller. By far. I never quite knew why, because nothing stands out really. But maybe it´s just that simplicity that attracts people. And it tastes so darn good.

The first time I made it I had bought a cute cake stand, so I thought I´d rotate different cakes each week. I even had a list of all the ones I wanted to make. Fat chance. I sold it in a nano second and had to have it everyday from that day on. The crankiness of some customers when they didn´t find it!

You´ll start with a slice and a cup of whatever you drink, and then find the cake half eaten at the end of the day. How did that happen?

We´re in the middle of fall, being in the southern hemisphere, but the good thing is that pears are good year round. Though most types appear in the fall, together with apples, this cake can be made whenever you need or want to. And it´s good with apples too. Or walnuts instead of almonds. Can´t go wrong with this recipe.

Pear and Almond Cake

PEAR AND ALMOND CAKE
Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery, by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

For cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 Tbs vegetable oil
3 eggs, room tº
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 pears
1 cup almonds, chopped

For glaze:
1 cup confectioners´ sugar
2 or 3 Tbs lemon juice

Directions

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter or spray a 9-inch round tube pan. Dust with fine dry crumbs or flour.

Put almonds in the bowl of a food, fitted with the steel blade, and process until coarsely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Don´t clean processor.

Cut pears in half, core and cut into chunks. Add them to the same fod processor bowl, with the steel blade, and process until you have small pieces but not a puree. It takes about 10 seconds.

Both almonds and pears can be finely chopped by hand.

In a large bowl sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in center and add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until it becomes to thick to handle. There will still be dry parts. Change to a wooden spoon or sturdy whisk, and add the pears. Mix by hand a few minutes until it is thoroughly combined. The pears will release some moisture and it will be easier to mix. Or do everything by hand with a sturdy whisk from the beginning.

Add almonds, mix well and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 45 to 50, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. It might take longer, depending on the oven.

Let cool on a wire rack and then unmold onto the serving platter.

Drizzle glaze on top and serve.

For the glaze:

Put sugar in a small bowl, add lemon juice and mix well until no lumps remain.

Pear and Almond Cake
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Make sure you visit and subscribe to Paula’s Blog at: Vintage Kitchen Notes.

GK Adams

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  • http://www.shirleymaya.com/ Shirley Maya Tan

    I can’t bake to save my life, but just reading this makes me drool…I think I can smell it from here ;p

  • Ida Chiavaro

    funny stuff, food and heaps of links to other blogs, works for me.

  • Phil Holtberg

    I don’t bake but posts like these make me wish I could. Pear and almond cake looks terrific!

  • Krisztina Williams

    I love pear, but I don’t believe I’ve ever baked with it. I’ll have to try that cake. It looks so delicious!!

  • AnotherCleanSlate

    Yum – please send a slice this way!

  • http://twitter.com/reneedobbs Renee Dobbs

    Paula always has the best desserts and recipes! It’s great to see her here on this very entertaining blog.

  • Vashti Quiroz-Vega

    Very interesting recipe. I’m going to try it!

  • beth.pollock

    This cake sounds wonderful. I’ve come over from Paula’s blog, where she always has the most beautiful recipes!

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.kendall.9 William Kendall

    That sounds to die for, Paula!

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)

    I’m happy to have discovered a new blog plus I have a delicious cake recipe…just my kind of dessert.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lizzy.do Lizzy Do

    So nice to meet you via Paula! I would have chosen the pear cake, too! YUM.

  • http://chinadoll-bakingdairy.blogspot.com/ Jeannie Tay

    Simple and full of goodness! I love this! I have made pear cake before so I am going to try this too!

  • Kim Bultman

    I agree with you, Paula, you can never go wrong with cake… especially this one. Enjoyed your guest post! Thanks, Gina, for featuring Paula with a “P” (and pears, too) — looking forward to sampling your humor, as well as a slice of this cake!

  • David

    Wow – this looks great and I was just in Magnolia Bakery in NYC for the first time this past week! Nice to meet you through Paula – I look forward to reading more! Seems we have two things in common – our love of food and our admiration of Paula! ~ David

  • Nancy

    I want to go to Argentina and visit Paula too! She’s a total gem – one of my favourite bloggers and all-around ladies for all the reasons you listed here. I’m a first time reader here and I’m so glad Paula introduced me to this blog. And this cake – wow! I’m a big fan of simple – it’s always the deceptively easy, seemingly humble foods that win my heart, the ones that epitomize comfort and everyday indulgence, where flavours are allowed to shine through. This is one of those cakes. No wonder it was a best-seller!