Thursday, November 7, 2013


Brown sugar pear cake (for pudding)

for the pears
2 large ripe pears (such as comice) peeled
juice of a lemon
100g caster sugar
2 slices of fresh ginger
splash of brandy

for the cake
100g golden caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
100g ground almonds
100g semolina
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of a lemon
4 medium free range eggs, lightly beaten
200ml olive oil

1. Place the pears in a deep saucepan with 300ml water or just enough to cover. Add the lemon juice, sugar, ginger and brandy and bring to simmer. Simmer over a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until just beginning to soften and the poaching liquid has taken on some of the flavour. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and allow to cool. Don't worry if they start to brown.
2. Vigorously simmer the juices for 20 minutes so they reduce into roughly 75ml of golden, caramel-like syrup. Pour almost all of the syrup in the bottom of a lightly greased 20cm springform cake tin and swirl to cover a bit. Slice the pears in half, remove the core and thinly slice. Layer onto the caramel base in a spiral shape, overlapping slightly and covering entirely.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Stir through the eggs and olive oil to make a wet batter. Pour the batter over the pears and slide the cake tin, on a baking sheet, into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
4. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack. While still warm, brush the remaining syrup onto the pears. Best served warm (not hot) with a drizzle of cream.

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