Brown butter. That stuff is like crack, man. The smell alone is enough to make me wanna swirl it through lotion and rub it all over my face. Yesterday morning it was destined to be made into banana bread; today a pear loaf (with bonus chocolate, of course). The decision-making process of how I arrived at the flavour was a simple one: the 2 Bosc pears I bought are desperately vying for my attention + there is leftover pear cider in the fridge = cake.
Is there anything better than a pre-swim bake on a Sunday afternoon? Only the feeling during the eating of it comes close. High on post-exercise endorphins
and the rest of the cider, I surprised myself by breaking personal barriers, all over some period jokes.
I cut down the sugar quite dramatically from the original recipe as it’s just right for my moderately sweet tooth. That and the fact that my lecturers’ judgemental faces inevitably come to mind whenever I reach for sugar.
Brown butter pear loaf
(adapted from Fish, chips & gelato)
pinch of salt
125g sugar (I used raw)
1 tbsp Greek yogurt/sour cream
20g pear cider (or other preferred liquid, such as milk)
250g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
up to 1tsp ground spices (I used loose leaf earl grey)
2 medium-sized pears (I used firm but ripe Bosc)
50g chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F and grease & flour or line a 9″ loaf pan with baking paper.
Brown the butter. Heat it on medium-high in a pot large enough for the entire batter. After a few minutes it will start to boil so I put a lid on until the violent spluttering and splattering have subsided. You’ll know it’s ready when it smells amazing and starts turning brown with burnt bits at the bottom. Add in the salt and sugar, stir to dissolve and leave the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Once cool, whisk in the eggs one at a time. The mixture will now look glossy and no longer grainy. Add the yogurt and cider.
Sift the flour, baking soda and spice together and add to the pot. Fold until just combined, then add the pear (cut to whatever size you fancy, mine were about 1.5cm cubes). Sprinkle the top with chocolate for good luck.
Bake for roughly 30 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a toothpick stabbed into the centre. (My chocolate threatened to burn so I put some foil on top.)