Caramelized Pear, Black Pepper, Honey and Goat Cheese Pound Cake

Combining fruit and cheese together is certainly not a new concept. Drizzling honey and cracked pepper over goat cheese is a staple at cocktail parties. I've taken these flavors to the next level by folding them into buttery pound cake. It's become the most sought after hostess gift. Bake a loaf or two, I bet your friends all will agree. Share the loaf plus the recipe for the holidays. This recipe is unique in flavor. I use semi-soft Norwegian goat cheese that has a caramelized flavor. It's perfect with the pears and black pepper.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: One 9 1/4 by 5 1/4 inch loaf; 8 to 10 servings
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

For the pears:

4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped; seeds and pod reserved

6 large firm pears (such as Comice, Bartlett, or Anjou), peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes 

3 ounces honey

For the cake:

1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

12 ounces confectioners' sugar

12 ounces all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black pepper

6 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

6 ounces Gjetost, grated on the large holes of a box grater (Ski Queen brand is sold in a small cube wrapped in red foil)

4 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 1/4- by 5 1/4- by 2 3/4-inch loaf pan. 
  2. In a saute pan over medium high heat, heat the butter and vanilla bean pod and seeds. When the butter is melted and hot, add the pears and cook, tossing often, about 3 minutes. 
  3. When the pears start to soften, add the honey and continue to cook, tossing to coat and caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. 
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  5. Sift together all the dry ingredients. Set aside. 
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture, mixing on low speed. Add the vanilla bean paste. Dump in the sifted dry ingredients and mix for 1 minute to incorporate.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Drain the pears, discard the liquid and fold them into the dough with a wooden spoon. Fold in the grated cheese. 
  8. Fill the buttered loaf pan with the dough and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake 55 to 60 minutes (rotate the cake after 30 minutes) until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely. This pound cake is great the same day, and amazing the next day toasted. 
  9. Store at room temperature for up to 4 or 5 days. This also freezes very well. Defrost overnight before serving.

Fudge Factor

Sifted: Plan-Ahead Valentine's Day Desserts Feb 6, 2013

By: Lauren Miyashiro

Get our take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including the best Valentine's Day recipes.

Train Frontman Pat Monahan's Dark Chocolate Obsession Feb 11, 2013

By: Cameron Curtis

Train frontman Pat Monahan, an avid chocolate lover, shared with us his top five reasons for eating dark chocolate.

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …