Toasted Almond Kaltbach Le Gruyère Cake with Honey-Port Poached Pears

By Brianna Bond

Inspired by the elements of a well-constructed cheese plate, this cake hits the perfect balance of mildly sweet and savory. The toasted almonds are meant to bring out the nuttiness of the cheese with the poached pear wine reduction highlighting the richer elements of the cake. Using cornmeal as a base creates a perfectly rustic texture making this a perfect centerpiece for a weekend brunch.

*Recipe compliments of Brianna Bond, Student of the Culinary Institute of America
Yield
8-10 servings
Cook Time

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 2 ounces fine, yellow cornmeal
  • 2 ounces cake or pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons almond paste, cut into half-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 6 ounces shredded Emmi Kaltbach™ Le Gruyére® AOP Cheese
  • 3 ounces toasted slivered almonds, plus more for garnish

  • For the Honey-port Poached Pears:
  • 1½ cups ounces port wine
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and quartered

Method

  1. For the Cake: Heat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, whisk together cornmeal, cake flour, and baking powder. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and almond paste on medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar. Mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Increase speed to medium and add whole eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low and add Greek yogurt and dry ingredients; then add Kaltbach™ Le Gruyère and almonds.
  3. Grease an 8” round cake pan with vegetable spray. Pour in batter and smooth with a spatula. Top with extra toasted almonds and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until golden and springs back to the touch.
  4. For the Honey-port Poached Pears: Combine port, water, and honey in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat then add pears. Reduce heat to low, cover, and flip pears after approximately 8-10 minutes. Pears should have no resistance when pierced by a knife.
  5. Reduce down extra liquid by about half to create a syrup for the cake. Store extra pears in poaching liquid.
  6. Serve cake and pears together.