To me, this little cake is special.
It is light and tender beyond belief. The almond cream so fragrant, and the marvelous texture and sweetness of the Bartlett pear render it so flavorful.
It took me a good bit of time to make it. But then it takes me a good bit of time to make any cake.
The almond cream came together perfectly, and perfectly yummy.
The Bartlett pears were barely ripe so they would hold their texture, which they did.
The batter came together easily. In the pan, after spreading the batter evenly, I had a slight problem keeping the indentation circle wide enough in the batter to keep the cream separated, so it wouldn't slide over onto the sides and around the tube of the pan; but it seemed to come out fine after all, even though it did go onto the tube.
My grumpy oven scowled at me as I ignored his temperature-display and turned him to 355' instead of 350'. I checked the cake at 55 minutes and decided the top was a little too fluffy and a bit sticky. I let the cake stay in for the extra 5 min. and took it out. I hoped for the best, and was rewarded.
Then, I did what I was meant to do - let it sit for 10 mins. Then, shake to dislodge. I was concerned, but it came forth undamaged, and sat on a rack until it totally cooled.
The recipe says to put the the pan back over the cake and then invert it onto a plate. After much deliberation, I decided that since I had used the intricately patterned chrysanthemum pan, I probably wouldn't be able to set it on top the cake without destroying the fragile design.
So, instead, after it had completely cooled, without inverting, I transported the cake with a large cake spatula to a cake round and into a carrier I will use tomorrow. Perfect.
But now, I just had to know if the pear and almond cream had really done the impossible. Had they really baked down through the batter and come to rest in a beautiful, pear and light custard crunchy top?
I cut into it with a serrated knife and there were the pear slivers, and a touch of white almond cream, just like the picture in RHC. I was beaming. And, now the true test - would it be soggy? - It wasn't! The crumb was absolutely heavenly - almost floating. [in contradiction to my angel food of last week]. Yes.
I think I can use the higher oven temp now with some confidence.
My husband has just had a piece, and has pronounced it 'marvelous'. Tomorrow I will keep half and share the rest to friends whom I know will also find it delicious.