Beautiful Holiday Desserts

Enjoy these beautiful and delicious desserts this Thanksgiving

 

Pear Upside-Down Cake

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INGREDIENTS

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided, plus more
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal or polenta
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 medium pears (about 1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Whipped cream or caramel gelato (optional)

PREPARATION

View Step-by-Step Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Butter pan; line bottom with a parchment-paper round. Whisk four, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil syrup without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar turns dark amber, 8–10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add 1 tablespoon butter (caramel will bubble vigorously) and whisk until smooth. Pour caramel into prepared cake pan and swirl to coat bottom.
  • Peel, halve, and core the pears. Place flat on a work surface and cut lengthwise into 1/8″-thick slices. Layer slices over caramel, flat side down, overlapping as needed.
  • Mix remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 8 tablespoon butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occassionally scraping bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites on low speed in a medium bowl until frothy. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat until whites form soft peaks. Fold about 1/4 of the whites into cake batter. Add in remaining whites; gently fold just to blend. Pour batter over pears in pan; smooth top.
  • Bake cake, rotating pan halfway through, until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few small moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around the inside of pan to release cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  • Invert cake onto a plate; remove parchment paper. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or caramel gelato, if desired.

 

Cranberry Spice Cake with Citrus-Cranberry Compote

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INGREDIENTS

CAKE

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup apple cider

LEMON GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoon strained fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Citrus-Cranberry Compote (click for recipe)

PREPARATION

View Step-by-Step Directions

CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat bottom and sides of cake pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with parchment paper; coat paper with spray. Whisk flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Pulse cranberries in a food processor until finely chopped but not puréed; set aside.
  • Stir sugar, brown sugar, and oil in another medium bowl to blend. Add eggs one at a time, stirring to blend between additions. Whisk in sour cream, orange zest, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  • Whisk in dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with cider in 2 additions and whisking to blend. Fold in chopped cranberries. Scrape butter into prepared pan; smooth top.
  • Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out almost clean, 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around inside of pan to release cake; turn out cake onto rack. Peel off parchment paper, then flip cake and let cool for 20 minutes.

LEMON GLAZE

  • Whisk powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl. Spread glaze over warm cake, allowing to drip down sides. Let stand until glaze becomes crackly, about 1 hour. Serve at room temperature. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  • Serve cake with Citrus Cranberry Compote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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