Upside Down Pear Cake…….

The whole title is “Upside Down Pear Cake, Caramel Semifreddo, Toffee Crumble and Lapin Cherry Gastrique…”.WHEW! This is the dessert Chef Paul made for us at the second Hester Creek Cooking Class Dinner.

The presentation of this dessert really knocked our socks off…truly beautiful and the taste was blissful. It comes in three steps but read it through and then go for it. Remember….”damn i can do this“.

Semifreddo With Vanilla Bean

1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 cups sugar

8 eggs, separated

4 cups whipping cream

pinch of salt

Beat the sugar, vanilla bean and yolks until light and fluffy. Whip cream until soft peaks form and set aside.

Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Fold in cream in two batches. Fold in egg whites. The mixture is now ready to pour into molds. Place in freezer until ready to serve. Let sit a few minutes to thaw before plating.

Toffee Crunch

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. corn syrup

2 tbsp. water

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Melt the butter then add the sugars, salt and water and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cook until it reaches 300 degrees then remove and add the soda. Pour into a buttered pan until set. When completely cooled , crumble.

Upside Down Pear Cake

3/4 cup cornmeal

1  1/2 cup flour

2  1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 cup softened unsalted butter

1  1/2 cup sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1  1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup sour cream

Set oven to 350 degrees, then sift the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar with a paddle until fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until each one is combined.

On low speed add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined. Spread batter over the pears.

Bake about 15-20 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before inverting onto serving plates.

For the Pears (or other fruit)

4 pears, diced



For the pears, saute in a pan with sugar until caramelized, add the butter and mix. Fill the ramekins with pear and proceed as above.

Note: Chef did not give amounts for this recipe. I am going to assume it would be 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp. of butter. Try it with less sugar to start, taste and adjust as you go.


2 cups aged balsamic vinegar

1 cup pitted cherries (lapin)

1 cup red wine

1 piece star anise

1 tsp fennel seed

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and reduce until syrupy. Remove the anise and discard.

When plating  (individually)…place the inverted cake on one side. Turn out the semifreddo on the plate. Sprinkle with crumble on the plate (just a little). Run a small dollop of the gastrique on the plate and run the back of the spoon to spread out a small line.

This truly is one of the best desserts I have had the pleasure to consume. You know, by reading my desserts on this site, I tell the truth. WOW. Thanks Chef Paul.

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