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Cranberry Pear Cake

Cranberry Pear Cake

This is a cake recipe that was in my Sunday newspaper LIfe section. The article and recipe is by Allson Ladman of the Associated Press. I have modified the sugar and flour and replaced with Stevia and Whole Wheat Flour. For the most part, the healthier alternatives do not make a big difference in how the cake tastes. You can find the alternatives to Eggs and Butter at your health food store.

Start to finish: 1 hour ( plus cooling )
Servings: 16

Ingredients

For the Cake:

1 and 1/2 Teaspoon Stevia sweetener
1/2 cup ( 1 stick ) unsalted butter * Vegans please see butter replacement recipe at bottom of post
1 teaspoon dry ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 Eggs ( You can use Energ Egg Replacer )
3 Pears ( or one twenty-eight ounce can pear halves, drained ) finely chopped ( 2 cups total )
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour ( you could substitute one cup with Unbleached White Flour )
2 Cups chopped dried cranberries

For the frosting:

1 Cup ( 2 sticks ) unsalted butter, room temperature * See butter alternative at bottom of post
1 Teaspoon Stevia sweetener ( taste the frosting to see if you need to add another 1/2 teaspoon of Stevia )
Zest of 1 Orange
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Eight ounce packages cream cheese
-Strips of orange zest ( optional )
-Dried Cranberries, to decorate ( optional )

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat two 9-inch round cake pans with olive oil spray. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper ( wax paper ).
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the Stevia, butter, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla until creamy smooth. Add the egg replacer and continue to blend.
3. Add the pears and flour and mix until combined. Stir in the cranberries. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
4. When the cake is completely cooled, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, stevia, orange zest, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon until creamy smooth. Add the cream cheese and mix until completely incorporated.
5. To assemble the cake, place 1 cake on a serving plate, spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting evenly over the top of it. Place the second cake over it. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, swirling the frosting. Decorate with strips of orange zest and dried cranberries, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Butter alternative:

3/4 cup coconut milk *

1/2 cup water

2 Tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

* May use 1/4 cup unsweetened finely
shredded coconut or raw cashew nuts instead of coconut milk, and
increase water to 1 1/4 cups. If you have only sweetened coconut, the
sugar can be rinsed out with hot water, using a sieve.

1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes.

It
should begin to thicken, about the consistency of thin porridge. I’ve
learned that this can vary with the cornmeal used, so if it isn’t
getting thick, add another teaspoon of cornmeal and cook a few more
minutes until it is like thin pancake batter or porridge.

2. Place
in blender, cover, can turn on low, then increase to high. Blend for
about 1 minute until as smooth as possible. (If using shredded coconut
or cashews nuts, blend for 2 minutes.)

3. Pour into a container; cover and chill. It will be runny, but sets up when cold.

This
will keep for about 10 days in the refrigerator, but after a few days
it gets stiffer. If this happens, just add a bit of water and stir
briskly until soft. I like to make a new batch every week. If there is
any of the old still remaining, I stir it into a frozen vegetable dish,
such as frozen corn.

Makes One Cup


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