Have you ever opened a cookbook and instantly fell in love with the exquisite photos and delicious recipes? This is exactly what happened to me with Hillary Davis' cookbook, French Desserts.
I've never been to France but simply browsing through this cookbook made me realize how much I would love the desserts in France. Recipes like the Pear & Salted Carmel Cake (below), Lime Yogurt Cake, Butter Cake, and more fill the pages of this delightful cookbook.
But having a good cookbook is pointless without quality bakeware. I recently got to try the Anolon Advanced Bronze Bake-ware Set and loved it. The 5 piece set includes just about everything a home baker needs to create the delicious treats found in the French Desserts cookbook. What makes this set special are the wide rims fitted with silicone handle grips for easy use.
Delicious desserts also deserve to be sliced professionally. The gourmet cake knife from WÜSTHOF has a nice serrated edge for easy cutting and a wide blade for serving. It was a pleasure to be able to cut through the cake without having it crumble.
When it comes to baking like a pro, the right kitchen tools really do make a difference. Bowls, graters, and extracts are all equally important so stick with brands you know and trust, like Nielsen-Massey, Microplane, Anolon , and WÜSTHOF . These gracious sponsors have provided us with the items in our bakers dream giveaway. Enter below for your chance to win!
Check out more recipes from our group:
Mini Raspberry Croissants
Fabulous Butter Cake
Laughing Cow Sugar Cookies
For the Cake
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 pounds (3 to 4) firm pears
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper cut so that it overhangs the short sides by 2 inches and another piece of parchment paper cut so that it overhangs the long sides by 2 inches. You will use these overhangs as a sling to lift the cake out of the pan after it is baked.
Using the mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the flour, salt, butter, and half-and-half; mix until combined.
Do not peel the pears. Simply cut them into very thin slices and stir them into the batter. It will look like it is all pears, and you will not see much batter once it is all mixed.
Scoop this mixture into the loaf pan, pat it down flat, and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Take the cake out of the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
For the topping
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup half and half
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the brown sugar, half-and half, butter, and salt in a saucepan until it comes to a boil then let it bubble away for 2 minutes.
Poke holes in the top of the cake with a fork or a skewer. Pour half of the hot carmel mixture over the cake and place the cake back into the oven to bake for another 12 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce.
Remove the cake from the oven, cool for 5 minutes, then gently lift with the parchment paper and slip the cake onto a serving plate. Remove the parchment paper and cool to room temperature for 20 minutes.
To serve, use a serrated knife to gently cut the cake into 1-inch-thick slices and ladle a bit f warm caramel sauce over the top.
*****Baker's Dream Giveaway*****
One giveaway winner will receive a copy of French Desserts by Hillary Davis, an Anolon Advanced Bronze 5-piece baking set, a Paula Deen 3-piece mixing bowl set, a WÜSTHOF GOURMET 6-inch Cake Knife, a Microplane Premium Classic Spice Grater and Spice Cup Grater, and Nielsen-Massey almond and lemon extracts.
A second winner will receive a copy of French Desserts by Hillary Davis.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post is organized by Virtual Potluck and sponsored by Anolon, WÜSTHOF, Paula Deen, Microplane, Gibbs-Smith, and Nielsen-Massey, who provided products to the participating bloggers as well as items for our giveaway. As Always, all opinions are my own.