This gingerbread is rich, dense, and loaded with flavor. Although the presentation of this gorgeous cake will make a stunning addition to your holiday table, you certainly do not need to go through the efforts of making poached pears to make an upside-down cake. The gingerbread on its own with a dusting of confectioner's sugar will be just as delicious...almost. Try serving the plain gingerbread with an orange scented glaze or with roasted applesauce and cashew cream in place of making the upside-down cake.
|Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake
|For all ingredients, please consider using those that are grown organically.
|un-sulphured molasses, not black strap
|ginger, peeled and grated
|all purpose flour, gluten-free all purpose flour with 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum will work fine
|1 1/2 cups
|1 1/2 teaspoon
|Upside-Down Cake Base
|White Wine Poached Pears, cut into thin slices
|light brown sugar
|1 1/2 cups
|confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
|orange zest (optional)
|Preheat the oven to 325 F.
|If you are making an upside-down cake, prepare the pan and base before beginning to make the cake batter.
|Line the bottom of a 9-10 inch spring form pan with non-stick aluminum foil. Put the melted butter and brown sugar in the bottom of the pan and use your fingers to blend them together.
|Arrange the thinly sliced poached pears in concentric circles overlapping the slices by about a third of their width.
|Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water and set aside.
|Using an electric or standing mixer, cream the butter and the sugar.
|Combine the molasses, grated ginger, and orange zest. Add the mixture to the creamed butter and sugar.
|In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
|Alternately add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture with the dissolved baking soda and water, beginning and ending with the dry. Do not worry about over beating. This is not a fluffy or delicate cake.
|Add the eggs or the pumpkin puree and beat to combine.
|Pour the batter over the pears. Put the pan in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Due to the pear and caramel base, the baking time might be as long as a couple of hours depending on your oven and if you are on a convection setting. Do not be discouraged. The caramel will not burn as long as the oven is not too hot.
|Remove the cake from the oven, cool for about 5 minutes, run a knife around the edge, and carefully invert the cake onto a platter. Put the platter upside-down on top of the cake and use towels or pot holders to hold the pan and platter tightly together, with a swift motion, invert the cake onto the platter. Release the spring form pan and gently remove the pieces. Carefully remove the foil from the top of the cake and allow it to cool completely.
|If you are not making the upside-down cake, pour the batter into a greased and floured 9 inch square or round pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Brush or pour the orange glaze over the top of the cake.