Hazelnut-Pear Upside Down Cake

19 Oct

Let’s not sugarcoat the truth here. I’m just going to say it. Out loud. No bells. No whistles. No frills.

I am not perfect.

Sometimes, I make some horrible creations.

Sometimes, I make something, and am so ashamed of it, I leave it in my car instead of bringing it in to work. Too shameful to be seen by another human.

This is how I felt last week. I made a pear-hazelnut tart. I was going for like an open-faced pie operation. I had this whole wheat pie crust that was looking and sounding pretty magical; “was” being the key word here.

Sometimes, Fabi makes stupid decisions.

Sometimes, Fabi has ideas in her head that just don’t really turn out to be that great in real life.

Sometimes, Fabi refers to herself in the third person and doesn’t quite know why.

This tart I speak of was all sorts of no good. It wasn’t that flavourful. It tasted like what it was. Nuts and pears on a pie crust. Oh, with cinnamon.

I left it in my car when I got to work. I tried to get some people as takers, but obviously the love wasn’t there and people weren’t biting. No pun intended.

This tart was just missing something.  A third element. Something that kicked the flavour up a “whole. Notha. Level.”

I decided to keep the flavour combo but ditch the tart idea.

This worked.

I combined chopped hazelnuts with a cooked mixture of sugar and honey, and poured it into a square cake pan lined with parchment paper.

Topped it with sliced pear goodness.

Topped that with a simple cake batter.

Bake Break!

Turn it out immediately….let it cool a few minutes….

Eat. Warm. Cold. Room temp. With ice cream. Without ice cream. It’s pretty killer.

My ego is not as bruised with this result.

Hazelnut-Pear Upside Down Cake

Nut Layer:

125g butter

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp white sugar

2 tbsp honey

1 1/2 cups finely chopped hazelnuts

pinch salt

1-2 pears, sliced


1 and 2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

125g cold butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Put the butter, sugars and honey into a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, mix in hazelnuts, then shut off and pour into a square 8″ by 8″ cake pan lined with parchment paper.

Top this layer with sliced pears.

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together. Cut in butter, until crumbly. Stir in sugar.

Make a well in the centre, pour in the eggs, milk and vanilla, Mix until well combined but do not overmix!

Spread over the pear and hazelnuts

Bake at 375F for about 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and continue to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the top of the cake is well browned.

Turn the cake out immediately. Careful! This will be messy and hot. Be careful. You might also have to eat some stray nuts.


2 Responses to “Hazelnut-Pear Upside Down Cake”

  1. Clayton October 22, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    For the record, I really did forget to grab some. My father enjoyed it. But yes, the second creation was much better!

  2. Clayton October 22, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    And really Fabi, you left it in your car. I not going to root through your car. For snacks? Wait a minute. Maybe I will.

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