Pear and Hazelnut Cake
1 small 7-inch cake
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla or hazelnut extract
A pinch of salt
½ cup ground roasted hazelnuts
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup heavy cream
1 firm pear, Bartlett or Anjou, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter, melted for brushing
1 small pitcher of maple syrup, warmed
Line the base of a 7-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the sides.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat again. In a medium bowl, combine the ground hazelnuts, flour and baking powder. Whisk to combine. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cream in thirds until a thick batter is formed.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Pour the batter into a springform pan. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles. Fan the pear slices in a circle first laying them around outer edge of batter. Lay a second fan of pear slices on the interior, facing the opposite direction. Brush the pear with melted butter and place in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry. Remove cake from pan. Serve with a little pitcher of warmed maple syrup for drizzling.