Recipe: Ripe Deli's Pear and Espresso Layer Cake

This layer cake recipe from Ripe Deli makes the most of autumn's pears. Photo / Sally Greer at Beatnik Publishing
This layer cake recipe from Ripe Deli makes the most of autumn's pears. Photo / Sally Greer at Beatnik Publishing

Ripe Deli has come a long way since Angela Redfern opened it in Auckland in 2002.

Eleven years, new premises and two cookbooks later, the deli is a hot spot for high-quality and healthy meals, snacks and artisan groceries in Grey Lynn.

The deli is gardener-friendly too. Thanks to a set of waste-munching Hungry Bins out the back, customers can pick up a batch of worm farm juice (a potent fertiliser) for a gold coin donation - and free sacks of coffee grounds to boost tired soil.

Here, the team shares an autumn-appropriate layer cake recipe, first published in Redfern's new cookbook "Ripe Recipes - A Fresh Batch" (Beatnik Publishing, 2013).

Serves 10 to 12

Cake base

• 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) pecans, toasted
• 1 and 2/3 cups (250g) self-raising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 225g unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
• 4 eggs
• 3 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp boiling water
• 2 tbsp Kahlua

Poached pears

• 2 pears, cored, sliced into wedges
• 30g butter
• 2 tbsp golden syrup
• 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water

Filling

• 250g mascarpone
• 3 tbsp Kahlua
• Reserved pecans, see method

Glaze

•1 tbsp instant coffee
• 2 tbsp boiling water
• 1 cup (150g) icing sugar, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line two 23cm cake tins.

2. To prepare the pears: in a medium sized saucepan; add the pears, butter, golden syrup and coffee. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.

3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the pears have softened, the liquid has reduced and has turned into a sticky golden caramel syrup. Set aside and allow to cool.

4. To prepare the cake: into a food processor bowl add the pecans. Pulse until finely chopped. Use half the chopped pecans for the cake mix and reserve half for the filling.

5. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the self-raising flour and baking powder.

6. Into a cake mixer bowl; place the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the self-raising flour. Beat until well combined, scraping down the inside of the bowl after each addition.

7. Add the cooled coffee and Kahlua, mixing until well combined.

8. Fold the remaining flour and half the chopped pecans into the creamed mixture.

9. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake tins and arrange the pears on top of both cakes. Reserve the caramel syrup that the pears were cooked in for the cake filling. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before filling and icing.

10. To prepare the filling: in a small bowl place the mascarpone, Kahlua, half of the remaining pecans and the reserved caramel from the pears. Whisk well with a fork until combined. Set aside

11. To prepare the glaze: dissolve the coffee in the boiling water. Add the icing sugar and mix to form a smooth runny glaze.

12. To assemble the cake: once the cakes are cool, place one of the cakes onto a serving plate and cover with the filling mix. Place the second cake on top and lightly press the remaining pecans around the side of the cake. Pour over the glaze allowing it to drizzle down the sides.

Get more info on Ripe Deli here, or drop by 172 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn. To make sure you're on the list for more recipes, sign up to our newsletter. We're also on Facebook and Twitter.

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