I don’t bake that often. But when I do, it usually comes in threes. Last time were the very, very dark chocolate brownies. Today, I moved to the lighter side, in color if not so much in calories. Once again I borrowed from the Donna Hay Flavors cookbook and took some liberties. I had been flipping through to see if I could find any good dairy-related recipes for Foodography 2 when I saw the Vanilla Cream Cakes, thickly smeared with luscious ivory topping. The cakes themselves are very simple and light and leave all of the focus on the cream. However, they were really just a little too simple for me. Kind of like having a little bit of crust to spoon in cr?Ã‰Â¬Â®me fra?Ã‰Â¬Ã†che.
To add a bit more texture, I added some fresh pear. First, I tried it as a slice, layered on with the cream. Then I tried chopping up the pear and mixing it in with the cream, which I liked better. The end result, a great little afternoon snack.
Vanilla Cream Cakes with Pear
6 oz unsalted butter
3/4 cups casters sugar (I used confectioner’s sugar because I didn’t have any casters)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cr?Ã‰Â¬Â®me fra?Ã‰Â¬Ã†che
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
1 large, ripe pealed pear (Bartlett, D’Anjou or other pear with creamy flesh)
Preheat oven to 325F.
Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Beat in the egg whites. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in until combined. Spoon into non-stick cupcake tins or cups (I use the silicone cups and they worked beautifully for these).
“Kaiser Bakeware Kaiserflex Silicone Muffin Baking Cups, Set of 6” (KaiserFlex)
Bake for 20 minutes, and let cool.
To make the vanilla cream, whisk the cr?Ã‰Â¬Â®me fra?Ã‰Â¬Ã†che, vanilla and sugar until thick. Chop pear into small chunks. Stir into cream mixture. Chill.
To assemble, cut the cupcakes in half. Spread the cream mixture about a quarter inch thick. If you want, add some shavings of dark chocolate. Top. Eat. Smile.