The heavenly combination of brown-sugar rippled cake, wine-roasted pears and a decadent caramel sauce (that’s not too sweet thanks to the addition of a little dry white wine) makes this an elegant dessert perfect for mid-winter feasting.
With wine-roasted pears and caramel sauce.
- vanilla ice-cream or cream, to serve
Brown-sugar ripple bundt cake
- 15 g butter, melted
- 1 tsp plain flour
- 250 g butter, melted
- 4 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1½ tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
- 250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
- 375 g (2½ cups) self-raising flour
- 165 g (¾ cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
- 375 ml (1½ cups) dry white wine (such as riesling)
- 165 g (⅔ cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
- 9 firm ripe small beurre bosc (about 170 g each)
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) water
- 125 ml (½ cup) wine mixture from wine-roasted pears
- 200 ml pouring (thin) cream
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time: 1 hour
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Combine the 15 g melted butter and 1 tsp plain flour and use a pastry brush to grease a 2 litre (8 cup) Bundt tin (see tips).
2. Place the butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and use a balloon whisk to whisk until evenly combined. Stir in the buttermilk. Add the flour and stir with the whisk until just combined.
3. Spoon one-third of the cake batter into the prepared tin and use a tablespoon to spread evenly, pressing into the pan. Sprinkle with half the dark brown sugar. Add half the remaining cake batter, spreading evenly, and sprinkle with the remaining dark brown sugar. Top with the remaining cake batter, spreading evenly. Tap the tin firmly on the benchtop 5 times to remove any excess air bubbles. Then use the back of the tablespoon to make an indent about 1 cm deep in the cake batter around the centre ring.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Stand the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool (this will take about 1 hour).
5. To make the wine-roasted pears, increase the oven temperature to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Combine the wine and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring just to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Peel, halve and core the pears using a melon baller or teaspoon, leaving the steams intact. Place in a single layer in a large roasting dish and pour over the hot wine mixture. Combine the dish with foil and roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes, turning the pears halfway through roasting, or until the pears are tender when tested with a skewer. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to a heatproof serving dish. Measure 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the wine mixture and set aside. Pour the remaining wine mixture over the pears, cover with foil and set aside to keep warm.
6. To make the caramel sauce, combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and use a wooden spoon to stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals, until the mixture turns a deep caramel. Remove immediately from the heat and carefully add the reserved wine mixture and then the cream. Return to a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the caramel is smooth and heated through.
7. Serve the cake with the warm pears and caramel sauce and ice-cream or cream.
• I used the Nordic Ware Crown Bundt pan to bake this cake.
• This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
• The pears will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days; serve at room temperature or reheat in a covered roasting dish at 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 10-15 minutes.
• The caramel sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat in a small saucepan over medium heat before serving.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Nick Banbury. Creative concept by Belinda So.
This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Bundt cakes column. Read tips on how to bake the perfect Bundt cake in her column.
View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.