West Virginia lost on Saturday.  They lost to Duke.  Phooey.  I have no particular bond with West Virginia, except that those mountaineers could have won me 80 bones.  Okay so that, plus “Country Roads” (the song that landed me my first real job), and a former boss from the WV.  But nothing terribly compelling.  Regardless, I chose them to win, to go all the way, to beat Duke.  So tonight, the job is all Butler’s.

But, back to Saturday night.  Five of Five of us were on the West Virginia side.  Two money grubbers, a boyfriend of a money grubber, a Tar Heel, and an overall reasonable human being.  We all know there is nothing charming about a Blue Devil from the research triangle.  At least when it comes to basketball.

So what is the best way to deal with sports related tragedy (ie. A loss)?  Well we turned to two coping mechanisms.  Red Dawn and Pear Cardamom Cake.  First, and foremost, if you haven’t experienced Red Dawn, there is undeniable evidence that you should.  High school students Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey, save the United States from a joint Soviet Union-Central-American Occupancy.  I’m just sayin…nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Pear Cardamom Cake

Adapted from Tartelette

2-3 pears, peeled and thinly sliced

¼ C water

1 C honey

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

1 ½ stick butter, melted and cooled

¾ C flour

½ tsp ground cardamom

Get the oven warming at 350 degrees, and prep an 8-inch (or two 4-inch) spring form pan by lining it with parchment paper.

We’re going to start the good stuff: caramel.  Mmmmmm, melted sugar.  Place ½ C of honey, ¼ C water and 1 tsp of vanilla in a saucepan, and bring those guys to a boil over high heat.  Reduce to medium heat and let the syrup simmer until it thickens.  My flame transformed it all into caramel in roughly 12 minutes.  Just be sure not to burn your sugar.  When you do reach a thicker consistency, dump the caramel into the your parchment lined pan(s).

Take your pear slices and lay them flat on the bottom of the pan—on top of the caramel—in as many layers as you like.

In a bowl, beat the remaining ½ C honey and 3 eggs.  I was told by a professional to crack eggs on a flat surface.  Apparently this makes a cleaner break and thus fewer shell fragments to pick out of your batter.  I believe this.  I believe this unless you are a busy multi-tasker trying to make caramel and crack eggs all at once.  Oh, and throw in some brute strength—like me of course.  Then, this method might just cause you to smash an egg on your counter top.  A word of wisdom, try not to let your strength get away from you.  I ended up with an egg on my counter.

After you beat the eggs and honey, slowly add the melted butter.  Finally mix in the flour and cardamom until fully incorporated.  You have your batter.  Dump the batter on top of your pears, and, you know, spread it around so it looks like a cake should.  Pop it in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.  Then take it out.

Let it cool until its room temperature.  Remove your spring-form siding.  Over a plate, flip your cake and unmold the parchment paper.  This is the unveiling of your cake.


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