<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\0757793856\46blogName\75Orangette\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\46navbarType\75BLACK\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://orangette.blogspot.com/search\46blogLocale\75en\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://orangette.blogspot.com/\46vt\75-5071095333567389549', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

11.15.2005

Seattlest + Macrina = true love and ginger cake

In this week’s Seattlest episode, I’m devouring a ginger pear upside-down cake from Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook, a collection of recipes from one of Seattle’s best bakeries.


Lest you hesitate for even a second before following the link, I must tell you that this was one of the most delicious cakes I’ve eaten in recent memory. Big, buttery, and oozing with caramelized pears, it had a remarkably moist, not-too-sweet crumb and a subtle kick of fresh ginger. I took a handsome chunk of it to work yesterday and came home with nary a crumb. Something tells me that, come Thanksgiving, one of these could earn you a year’s worth of gratitude.

24 Comments:

Blogger margrocks said...

thanks, molly. now i know what i'm making for thanksgiving dessert!

2:41 PM, November 15, 2005  
Blogger margrocks said...

on second thought, do you think this would work with apples? i have some guests who are pretty set on having an apple dessert. think it's adaptable? maybe if i saute the apples for a bit to soften?

2:44 PM, November 15, 2005  
Blogger {m} said...

thanks for the link -- so yummy sounding! except I have to substitute something for the molasses -- any suggestions?

3:34 PM, November 15, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Margrocks, you're a wise woman. This thing has Thanksgiving written all over it. And as for the apples, yes, I think it would be an easy substitution. The original recipe, actually, says that you can substitute apples for the pears. I, like you, would be inclined to worry a bit about the apples softening enough, so I might cut them into six or eight pieces each instead of four...but that said, go forth bravely!

Maia, you're very welcome! And as for a molasses substitution, hmm, that's tricky. The molasses not only contributes sweetness here, but also a good deal of that classic "gingerbread" flavor. You could certainly use honey, maple syrup, or even dark corn syrup in its place, but it will be a very different cake. It could be a good experiment, though, so please let me know if you try it.

4:56 PM, November 15, 2005  
Blogger Michèle said...

Hi Molly, the recipe looks so good! And as always, I liked your post at Seattlest.. Makes me want to get my butt over to Macrina. Think of all the places I'll be begging you to take me if I ever come to town ;)
Failing an actual visit, I'll have to put the cookbook on my christmas list..
that list gets longer every day..

5:24 AM, November 16, 2005  
Anonymous Sher said...

Wow!!! You had me at "caramelized pears" . That looks so good. I also think that would be a great Thanksgiving dessert.

Sher

2:53 PM, November 17, 2005  
Blogger tara said...

What can I say that hasn't already been said (except of course inviting myself along for a visit with you and Michele). I've been in love with all things miniature lately, and cannot help but think this beauty would be gorgeous in a 4 inch springform. Hmm. The ideas abound. Love the combination of spice and fruit - absolutely perfect!

3:26 PM, November 17, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Michele, ma cherie, though Macrina is indeed delicious, I think you have more than your fair share (hmph!) of fantastic bakeries! Grrr. What I wouldn't do for a trip to Kayser, or my old beloved Au Levain du Marais. Ahh. But Macrina does have the market cornered, as far as I'm concerned, on that slice of Americana that Parisian bakeries just can't seem to get: killer brownies, ganache cupcakes, or fat, nubbly cookies. Come on over.

Sher, I know, there's magic in the words "caramelized pears." Happy early Thanksgiving!

And Tara, you're right! This cake would be absolutely beautiful in little 4-inch springform pans. Genius. I think I'll be making a quick addition to my Christmas list! Thank you.

5:28 PM, November 17, 2005  
Blogger megan said...

Which type of pears do you think work best? And how ripe is "ripe"? I would think you'd like them firm enough to slice, but wouldn't want them to be crunchy in the finished product. Obviously I need a little hand-holding in my recipes....

11:55 AM, November 19, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Megan, we all need a little hand-holding at times--or, at least, I do. Happy to help. I used Comice pears, but I think most any would work: Bartlett, d'Anjou, even a ripe Bosc. And as for the meaning of "ripe," you've got a little wiggle-room there as well. Mine were the perfect ripeness for eating, still firm but tender and quite juicy. I'd say you'd be safe to use anything from a slightly hard one (a bit more solid than you'd want for eating) to a good "firm-ripe" one. Off to the market you go...

1:21 PM, November 19, 2005  
Anonymous Bess said...

I started to make this tonight and had all the ingredients in front of me, and then realized I had BLEACHED flour. Could you recommend a brand of UNBLEACHED since I never buy that kind? New to baking and all..
Thanks.

5:19 PM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Bess, you can most certainly go right ahead with that bleached flour; no problem. You won't really notice any difference, and actually, some people find that bleached flour makes for lighter, more tender cakes. Bleaching has generally gone out of fashion in the culinary world, though, because many deem it unnecessary and feel that it is unhealthy, or that it strips nutrients from the flour. [Shirley Corriher has a good explanation of how various flours differ in her book Cookwise, if you want the hard facts.] But for now, no need to rush out and buy new flour. Use up what you have, and then I'd recommend King Arthur brand unbleached all-purpose flour. Barring that, really, any supermarket brand will do. I grew up with Gold Medal, and that's available nationwide. Hope that helps!

9:30 PM, November 22, 2005  
Anonymous Bess said...

Thanks for the info. I actually had gotten out my Cookwise and only got confused about converting recipes from "Un" to Bleached, the ratios, etc.. Never so good at math and didn't want to risk messing this up! So I bought unbleached this morning (believe it was Gold Medal)and will bake it tonight.
Thanks!

7:36 AM, November 23, 2005  
Anonymous yc said...

thanks for this amazing recipe! i've been following orangette for a few months and many of your recipes have been on my to-try list for ages, but this cake was a perfect beginning -- i brought it to a thanksgiving dinner, and i think it earned both macrina and orangette the devotion of many sf bay area grad students! can't wait to try some of your other posts, and i hope you'll keep writing -- your blog is truly wonderful.

10:16 PM, November 25, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Bess, I'm glad to hear that you've already been brought under the spell of Shirley Corriher. She's fantastic, even if so much information does complicate things sometimes! I made her Touch of Grace Biscuits for the third Thanksgiving in a row this year, and they blew me away, as always. I hope this Macrina cake did the same for you.

And yc, thank you for trying this cake--and for writing to tell me about your success! I'm honored to know that somewhere in the Bay Area, a Macrina cake was lovingly made and devoured. It's this sort of thing that makes Orangette so rewarding for me, and such a great adventure.

2:20 PM, November 26, 2005  
Anonymous Ed said...

another "thank you for posting this recipe"...made this with small Bartletts from the Hollywood Farmer's Market and brought it to Thanksgiving dinner. It was delicious...a huge hit. That Macrina might be worth a special trip to SF.

8:09 AM, November 28, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Ed, thanks so much for giving the cake a go--and for reporting back so favorably! If you want more Macrina, you should look into Leslie Mackie's Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook. Pretty luscious stuff...

12:42 PM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger margrocks said...

thanks, molly. here's my version of your cake. hope you had a happy thanksgiving!

http://sizeate.blogspot.com/2005/12/how-ya-like-them-apples.html

12:50 PM, December 01, 2005  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Molly! I made this a little while ago, and it worked out perfectly! Tasted just like gingerbread - but with pears - and that was a big (pleasant!) surprise for me :)

9:47 PM, December 03, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Margrocks, your apple version looks delicious, and it sounds as though it tasted pretty darn good too. I tried to leave a comment on your post--too funny, and too sweet, m'dear!--but Blogger was being difficult. Grrrr.

And Anne, I'm so glad that you made and enjoyed the cake. Your photo of it is lovely! You're right--it is essentially a gingerbread, but the fresh ginger (as opposed to ground) makes it a little more spicy and sophisticated, I think.

6:27 PM, December 04, 2005  
Anonymous Wren said...

The taste was divine, the outside perfect, but I don't think it was supposed to "flow" from the inside like a molten volcano cake. How can I put a cake in an oven for two hours and still have it come out unbaked? Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Chemistry was never my strong suite.

6:22 AM, February 11, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Hmm, Wren, I'm not sure what to tell you. That is very strange! My first inclination is to check your oven temperature. Do you have an oven thermometer? If not, you can buy one very cheaply at almost any drugstore or grocery store. Most ovens, when preheated, are not actually the temperature you have set them to be. I always check the thermometer before I put anything in the oven, because more often than not, mine tends to run about 25 degrees too hot. It sounds as though yours may be running on the cool side. If you already have an oven thermometer, though, and your oven was running as set, I hardly know what to say. Hmph! I don't know of any more complicated or nuanced reason why you should have wound up with a volcanic cake. I hope this helps...

11:21 PM, February 11, 2006  
Blogger Nicole said...

Aloha Molly! Just received your book from my best friend (another foodie) for my birthday. Love it and love the recipes (still struggling with the bouchons though). BUT THIS CAKE is amazing. First off, I don't bake. Second, I am (currently) obsessed with fresh ginger, and have a lifetime obsession with pears. It's not pear season so I topped this wonderful creation with homemade mango, ginger, mint sorbet. My mouth has never been so happy with anything I baked before! Can't wait for pear season, but this will be on our table for many, many more meals in the future.
Mahalo!

12:00 PM, July 19, 2009  
Blogger Kristy said...

hi, molly. made this cake last week and it was very surprising. my cake was not very sweet but dense and moist and earthy. i used plums and pears which frankly i should have waited for a better season. i think this cake really relies on ripe fruit to sweeten it. this cake screams fall, not spring. that said i took it to work and everyone had two pieces.

4:16 PM, March 02, 2010  

Post a Comment

<< Home