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Zebra's Bistro Pear Gingerbread Upside Down Cake

2 C. flour
1 T. instant espresso powder
2 T. cocoa
1 T. ground ginger
1 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 C. plus 2 T. butter, softened
2 C. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 T. grated fresh ginger
2 T. crystallized ginger, chopped
Zest of 1 orange
2 C. molasses
2 pears, peeled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 10-inch cake pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, espresso powder, cocoa, ginger, salt, cloves, baking powder and baking soda.

Cream the butter and 1 C. brown sugar together until very light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds after each one, then scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the fresh and crystallized gingers and the orange zest. Mix in the molasses. Fold in the flour mixture by hand.

Sprinkle the bottom of the cake pan with the remaining 1 C. brown sugar. Arrange the sliced pears on top of the brown sugar in a fan shape. Pour the cake batter on top.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a rack and let cool.

Makes 10-12 servings.

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