Monday, 21 February 2011

The week starts here...

and on this grey, cold and rainy Monday morning, I delivered these Little Pear & Hazelnut Cakes to the warm and welcoming fug of the Coffee Tree!

They are layers of toasted hazelnut sponge with tiny dice of fresh pear stirred through the cake mixture....sandwiched with a vanilla cream cheese frosting and no-sugar pear conserve and finished with a little more frosting and a toasted whole hazelnut!
I adore hazelnuts....but, bizarrely, they're not everyone's cup of tea baking-wise. So I thought that 'pear-ing' (sorry!!) them with this gently flavoured fruit might help them in the popularity stakes today! I think they look beautiful...and the sponge offcuts tasted so good that I had to make sure that I gave them to the birds very quickly before I wolfed down the lot! So a good start.
This is something that doesn't happen very often, but as it's my 50th Baking Brownies for Mozart post...
Paul insisted on taking a picture of me with my creations. And I'm posting it to keep him happy!

I'd love you to come into my kitchen and share a large cup of hot tea with me...but this may be the nearest we get for a while!
Happy Monday...xoxo


  1. On congratulations on hitting #50! That's a big achievement. Your hazelnut cakes look wonderful. I wonder wouldn't it make sense to make them in cupcake tins and then half and fill? Then you'd not have any waste. Just a thought. These are far more elegant tho. But hmm if you baked them in silicone they'd not have crusty edges so would be very similar to these. Anyway I'm all talk and no action. I think they look fantastic and super festive. I love hazelnuts. Love to eat them plain or any way at all. Had a recipe for some sauce or dressing made with them. Gotta look for that. Well Rachel, happy Monday. I know the Coffee Tree folks will be happy to see you!

    Here we go: here's the recipe--it's great:
    2 packs fresh ravioli, tortoloni, tortelini etc
    or you can use 12 oz (or so plain pasta)
    Red, green & yellow bell peppers, finely cubed
    purple onion cubed very finely
    (Cut amount of onion and pepper that looks pretty in pasta)

    ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
    1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    6 TBSP fresh lemon juice
    2/3 cup olive oil
    3 TBSP walnut oil
    salt & pepper
    3 TBSP Parmesan cheese

    Cook, drain, and allow pasta to cool. Mix in peppers & onion.

    In Cuisinart, combine nuts, parsley, garlic and lemon juice. (You don’t have to pre-chop anything, just do it all together.) Mix briefly till all are chopped and combined. With motor running, pour olive oil through feed tube, until sauce thickens. Add walnut oil and pulse once or so. Add salt & pepper & cheese. Pour over pasta and toss.

  2. Congrats on 50 posts! Amazing on how fast time goes isn't it? I agree with Paul, & so glad he took that beautiful picture of you! Your baking looks scrunpous.. Wish I could twinkle my nose & zip over to share one with you!

    xoxo Gert

  3. Rachel, I would absolutely LOVE to join you in a large cup of hot tea! In fact, I am going to make one for myself now and enjoy it with you! It will be just the ticket for my scratchy throat.:(

    Your baked goods are amazing! Such creativity! I'm enjoying a taste of the hazelnut cakes along with my tea.:)

  4. Congratulations on your 50th! Post that is. I very much like the sound of hazlenut with pear.... I've been ousted this week as no. 1 son made tiramisu cupcakes yesterday. Think he might be trying a takeover bid. xx

  5. Well, that's quite s start for the week! I could have those cakes with tea for breakfast, if I had time. My wife doesn't like hazelnuts, or nuts in general, but I love them, especially in desserts. Mixing them with pears seems to be an inspired idea.

    I cannot wait to visit your bakery. I want to spoil myself with some tea in the afternoon and lots and lots of cakes. You make me hungry.

  6. Oh pleeeeease can I have one? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. The cakes are delectable, but I just want to say....Rachel, you are so cute!! Yes...let Paul take more pictures of you with your treats to share with all of us. Your smile can light up a room!

  8. Dear Rachel,
    Congratulations on your 50th post! I can't believe how quickly time flies. Seems like just the other day when you wrote your first post! You look so gorgeous holding your little pear and hazelnut cakes, I can totally see why Paul wanted to take a picture of you. I would love to share one of those cakes with you and a cup of tea too! xxoo

  9. Congratulations on 50 posts, Rachel, and a big thank you to Paul for the beautiful picture of you! I wish I could stop by for a cup of tea and one of your delicious cakes, but when I visit your blog I kind of feel like I actually have -- and with no calories :) xoxo


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