I was challenged to make a recipe with Port by Monarch Airlines, to mark their new destination: Porto in Portugal. I haven’t tried Port before and I never cooked with it. So, I was delighted to try it. I’m glad I did as I liked Ruby Port a lot, it’s nice and sweet.
Port is made in Porto, in the Douro region. This wine was introduced in England in the 17th century, when a Liverpool merchant imported it after tasting it on one of his trips in Portugal. Its higher alcohol percentage made the trip possible, as it will not go off.
The Port I bought for this recipe is Cockburn. In 1815, two wine merchants scots, Robert Cockburn and his brother John, set up a branch of their firm in Porto. The family ran the company until the 20th century, having different partners. They are known for their fine Vintage Port. Many other companies that import Port have a similar heritage.
Upsidedown Pear Cake with Port. Ingredients:
– 2 pears
– 100g self raising flour
– 3 small free range eggs or 2 large free range eggs
– 100g muscovado sugar
– 100ml oil
– 10g cocoa powder
– 20g butter, at room temperature
– 20g white sugar
– 100ml Ruby Port
– 100ml milk
– 100g dark chocolate
Wash and peel the fruits. Cut them in half and remove the seeds. Cut the pears in strips and leave them on a kitchen paper towel.
Prepare the batter by mixing the flour with the muscovado sugar, the oil, cocoa powder and the beaten eggs. The batter can be made with a mixer or by hand, it’s very easy to make and it doesn’t need a lot of time to incorporate the ingredients.
Preheat the oven at 200C degrees, 180C is you are using a fan oven or gas mark 6.
Meanwhile, butter a flan tray, I used a silicone one so it’s easier to get out once is cooked, as it’s flexible. Sprinkle the white sugar on top of the butter. Make sure all the butter is covered with sugar. Put the pear slices on top, arranging them as you prefer. Pour the batter over them.
Put the baking tray in the oven. Bake it for around 20 minutes. While the cake is in the oven, make the Port sauce. Put 100ml of Port in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to boil and leave on the hob with the lid on for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, reduce the heat and leave for another 4-5 minutes. Put the saucepan on a side to cool.
When it’s ready, remove the tray from the oven and leave it to cool for a minute or so. Put the serving plate on top of the tray and flip it over. This way the pear will be on top and they will look lovely. When it’s cold, brush the cake with the Port sauce.
Before serving, make the dark chocolate sauce. Heat the milk in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add the chocolate cut in cubes and start stirring. The chocolate will melt, continue to stir and it will become a sauce in less than a minute. Serve the cake with a glass of Port.
I served the cake with a glass of Ruby Port. I think it works great. Do you like Port?