Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Pear and Walnut Loaf Cake

After the success of the hazelnut loaf cake, I was spurred on to play around with the recipe, using the original as a base. As I had some Nocino,an Italian walnut liqueur knocking around I decided to do a version using walnuts in place of the hazelnuts, and the Nocino in the place of the Frangelico. Plums were my original idea for the topping, but my local grocer had some lovely looking pears, so I swayed course. I very much enjoyed the result, but the next time I bake this I'll use a round, shallower cake tin, to increase each slice's pear-to-sponge ratio. For me, the cake evokes all the best things about autumn. If you're feeling down because summer is drawing to a close, this recipe will help you welcome the coming season.

200 grams walnuts
125 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
225 grams sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
250 grams greek yogurt
2 tbsps Nocino (optional)
225 grams self raising flour
pinch salt
1 large pear, quartered then sliced
2 tbsp demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade, line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan until they start to smell fragrant and the skins begin to flake. Take off the heat, let them cool for a few minutes, then finely grind in a food processor.
Combine the flour, salt and ground nuts in a bowl.Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one by one, and then add in the yogurt and Nocino. Fold in the dry ingredients, then pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Arrange the pear slices on top, then sprinkle the demerara sugar on top of the fruit. Bake for around 45 minutes until a knife or skewer comes out cleanly.

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