Hong Kong Sponge Cake with Five-Spice Poached Pear and Ginger Caramel

J Vineyards & Winery has been at the forefront of the wine and food experience since our first tasting program launched in 1999. All of the recipes have been created by our J Culinary Team to pair perfectly with our exceptional portfolio of varietal and sparkling wines.

Ingredients:

Sponge Cake:
¾ Cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Five Spiced Poached Pears:
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups J Vintage Brut
1 ½ cups J Brut Rose (if you don't have unlimited access to sparkling wine you may substitute water for the J Vintage Brut and J Brut Rose)
1 cup water
3-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into
½-inch slices
5 cloves6 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
3-inch strip Meyer lemon peel
8 Seckel pears

Ginger Caramel Sauce: 
1 cup ginger juice
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup heavy cream

Method:

Sponge Cake:
Preheat convection oven to 425 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9-inch nonstick cake pans with parchment paper. Generously spray pan and paper with nonstick cooking oil. In a standing mixer combine egg whites with one tablespoon of the sugar; whip to stiff peaks. Remove and set aside in a large bowl. Using the same mixing bowl, whip egg yolks with remaining sugar until pale yellow. Add vanilla extract; slowly add in flour and baking powder. Remove mixture from mixer and fold it into the egg whites in two batches. Place the batter into the cake pans; bake for 10 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove from oven and rest upside down in the cake pans on a cooling rack. Once cooled, slide out the cakes. You may need to run a knife around the edges to loosen.

Five Spiced Poached Pears:
Combine the first eleven ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the pears and cut in half. Using a melon baller, scoop out the core. Add the pear halves and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pears to cool to room temperature in the liquid.  

Ginger Caramel Sauce:
In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, reduce ginger juice to 1/3 cup. In medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. When the foam subsides ,stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cook until the sugar melts and begins to caramelize into a copper-colored syrup, 5-7 minutes. Carefully stir in the reduced ginger juice (be very careful as it will boil and produce a searing steam). Boil for 1 minute, add cream and remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature before storing.

 

Suggested Pairing: