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Rustic Pear & Vanilla Cakes…

April 13, 2010

There are moments, I have moments, I know you have them too, when you open up someone’s latest blog post and all that there is to do, all anybody could do, is stare. And I’m not just talking about the few seconds ‘wow that’s beautiful’ kind of stare. I’m talking about the jaw dropping, core of your being, 5 minutes plus then wiping the drool off your keyboard kind of stare. It’s the ‘never mind the fact that I’ve just eaten and it is virtually impossible to fit anything more into my stomach right now but I’m about to literally try to reach into the computer screen and grab it!’ kind of stare.

Ok ok I’m being over dramatic, but seriously, wow! I don’t know what it was about these cakes on Helen’s blog, Tartelette, that grabbed me so. They’re just so beautiful and homely and you can tell there is love and history behind them.

When I finally got round to making them I found I didn’t have apples or cardamom in my kitchen… Yes I’m a bit scatterbrained, how could you tell? But luckily I did have pears, so I decided to make a pear and vanilla version of them. And they were delicious, as all of Helen’s recipes that I’ve tried are. Go check out her blog, you won’t be disappointed!

Now for the recipe…

Rustic Pear & Vanilla Cakes… (Adapted from Tartelette)


  • 1 1/4 (175g) cups flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (190ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced


  • 5 1/2 tbsp (80g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and spray a 9-inch round baking pan or 4 smaller pans with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk the dry ingredients for the cake together in a large mixing bowl to break up any clumps. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients until just combined. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry while whisking lightly, to ensure that everything is well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and arrange the pear slices on top. (the recipe calls for a circular pattern but I did mine randomly)

Place the pans onto a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes.

While they’re baking, make the topping. Whisk the butter & sugar together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. (this can take up to 10 minutes by hand so use a mixer or a hand beater if you can) Add the egg and the vanilla extract and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Remove the cakes from the oven after 10 minutes and spread the topping over the tops. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until a tester inserted near the middle of the cake comes out clean.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 12:29 am

    These looks fabulous! Good old Tartelette, can’t go wrong with that lady.

    • chocswirl permalink*
      April 14, 2010 7:55 am

      Definately! She’s an amazing pastry chef and an inspiration. :)

  2. April 14, 2010 3:15 pm

    Mmmmmmm both versions sound magnificent. And now you’re making me drool…

    • chocswirl permalink*
      April 14, 2010 7:45 pm

      he he, making others drool is what we blog for right? :)

  3. lyn permalink
    April 15, 2010 8:55 am

    Tasted as good as it looks. I know I live here and it is my kitchen! Well done Robs!

  4. April 17, 2010 5:40 pm

    I am drooling right now :)

    • chocswirl permalink*
      April 20, 2010 10:05 pm

      There’s a lot of drooling going on around here… :)

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