Bradley ChenComment

Almond Loaf with Lavender Poached Pears

Bradley ChenComment
Almond Loaf with Lavender Poached Pears

Almond Loaf with Lavender Poached Pears

October 1, 2019


Over the past couple of weeks, I have had the amazing opportunity to share what I love with new friends & family. Brad & Butter has progressed so far in terms of recipe development, audience, and photography. While this passion project of mine is far from perfection, I am so excited to continue learning from other bloggers, photographers, and peers. I know I’ve said this countless times, but thank you for all your support — it’s hard enough to believe in yourself but when you have so many people behind your back it truly becomes so much easier.

Although I have yet to master my trade, I think I can confidently say that Brad & Butter has developed it’s own voice, personality, and style. If I could sum her up in one sentence she would be a mix of funk, humor, and realism. As we approach Brad & Butter’s two year anniversary, I wanted to reflect on and reiterate the mission of Brad & Butter. This blog was created as a safe space — a home, if you may — for everyone by utilizing all things food & drink as it’s medium. In the past few weeks, I have thought harder and harder about how Brad & Butter has slowly acclimated into it’s role as a feel-good food blog — one that welcomes with open arms no matter the circumstance.

I am currently involved in an organization known as Hotel Ezra Cornell as the Beverage Director. During the spring we host a hospitality conference for industry professionals that lasts three days, and each year the organization comes up with a unique theme for the conference. This year our theme is Dare to Do : Impacting Society Through Hospitality. It was only until after having drilled this notion into my head as a part of the conference directors did I realize this notion is what Brad & Butter strives to be. At the end of the day, in the short amount of time we have, all I want is to leave my mark on other people, places, and cultures. These days, hotels & restaurants may embody the concept of hospitality, but ultimately, hospitality is derived from a sense of place, a sense of home. So again, as Brad & Butter begins another fruitful year of celebration, I invite you to step into this safe space at any time, any day, and any situation. Welcome Home.

This bake is one that I’ve wanted to carry out the moment I saw it on zoëbakes and is inspired by the inviting flavors that make me think of home. Home means many things to me, but the nutty scent of almond reminds me of the street-side sweets of Shanghai and the sweet juices of pear take me back to those hot, late summer nights. When I think of lavender I think of tea, books, hearths, and fireplaces — all of which emit a vibe that ground me to a single place. The flavors in this cake meld together beautifully from the syrupy, floral bartlett pears poached in lavender to the earthiness of the almonds in the loaf cake. Flavors that may seem to contradict, yet work in harmony when one dares to try something new.

For those of you who have taken the time to read this article, whether it is for the food or the content, I dare you to do something of impact. It doesn’t matter how big or small, I simply dare you to do. For it is this notion that gave birth to a project that I can proudly call my passion and one that I am positive has brought a smile to someone’s face along the way.


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Almond Loaf with Lavender Poached Pears

Brad & Butter | Oct 1, 2019

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)

For the Lavender Poached Pear
  • 3 medium bartlett pears
  • 2 tbsp. dried lavender
  • water
For the Almond Loaf Cake
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 180g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 125g all purpose flour
  • 50g almond flour
For the Almond Frangipane
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 50g almond flour
  • 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 egg
For the Lavender Poached Pears
  1. Bring a large pot of water enough to cover the pears to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the lavender. Let steep for 5 minutes before discarding the lavender.
  2. Peel the pears and poke gently with a fork all around. Add the pears into the lavender tea along with the sugar and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the pears are soft, but still have some resistance.
  3. Remove the poached pears from the liquid, saving the poaching liquid for cocktail syrups. Let cool in the fridge before using
For the Almond Frangipane
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars unti pale, light, and fully.
  2. Add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and cornstarch. Mix until fully combined.
  3. Mix in the egg and almond extract until fully incorporated.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
For the Almond Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F with the rack in the middle.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars unti pale, light, and fully.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, half and half, and extracts until fully combined. Gradually incorporate the liquid mixture into the creamed butter and sugar mixture and mix until incorporated.
  4. Sift in the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
  5. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined standard rectangular loaf tin. Place the pached pairs stem up into the batter. Spread the frangipane over the pears.
  6. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!