July 25, 2014 by Bloke In A Kitchen
This simple to make, delicate cake looks really impressive – it’s the sort of cake you might find in a fancy Parisian cafe (at fancy Parisian cafe prices). Beautiful when served warm or cold with lashings of cream, or equally perfect with a good quality vanilla ice cream. Firm Conference pears will work a treat here.
For the caramelised pears:
3 large pears (reasonably firm, but not rock hard)
25g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
Main cake ingredients:
150g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
75g ground almonds
75g self raising flour
A good pinch of ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Grease a 20cm diameter spring form cake tin, and line the base with baking parchment
For the caramelised pears
Put a saucepan over a medium heat and add 25g of butter. When it’s sizzling, add a tablespoon of sugar and stir well until it dissolves. Add the pear quarters and fry in the buttery caramel for five to 10 minutes, until they start to brown and soften (the time taken will vary greatly, depending on how ripe the pears are). Put to one side to cool a little.
The Cake Mixture
Put the remaining butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. The butter and sugar wants to turn very soft, and ideally go a little paler, almost white. Beat in the two eggs, one at a time. Tip the ground almonds into the cake batter, then sift in the self-raising flour and fold in gently.
Add a pinch of ground cinnamon, and give a final stir.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange the pieces of pear on top of the cake. Finally, pour the melted butter from the pear pan all over the top of the cake mixture.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife pushed into the centre comes out clean. Place the tin on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold.