I love making this cake it’s popular no matter who you serve it to. The pear and cake itself are spiced with cinnamon, cloves, red wine, orange and lemon peel and rasberries. One of the secrets to the cake flavour is to reserve 1/4 cup of the spiced syrup/compote from the poached pears and use in the cake itself. As well during winter or autumn I’ll warm the compote a little and serve with the cake. Add a dash of cream or yoghurt with the cake on serving.
Also maybe if you can – it is recommended to poach the pears a day or two prior. Let the pears cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge with reserved very vibrant and aromatic compote. When ready to add into cake dish make sure pears are at room temperature.
Don’t use already ground cloves for the cake. Buy whole spices and when ready to use grind in a mortar and pestle. The mortar and pestle is a great investment and once you smell and taste the freshly ground spice you won’t go back to store bought ground spices.
Also I don’t believe large quantities of sugar are necessary for cakes. This recipe has only 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Ingredients for Poached Pears
3 pears skin off
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup water
1 cup red wine ( Chardonnay perhaps)
1 cinammon Stick
4 cloves whole
1/2 cup sugar of choice
Orange peel and lemon peel of half the fruit
Method for Poaching
Add all ingredients in a saucepan and gently summer for 1/2 hour. Turn sides of pears to ensure even cooking and colour. Store in fridge.
Ingredients for Cake
3 poached pears
1/2 cup reserved pear compote
1/2 cup sour light cream/plain yoghurt
175g butter at room temp.
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbspns freshly ground cloves
2 tbspns ground cinammon
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tbspns baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb
Method for Cake
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat egg whites to semi stiff peaks form.
Add each egg yolk at a time and beat between additions well. Add reserved compote, spices and yoghurt/sour cream and beat well. Mix in flour and spices. Fold egg whites through cake mixture.
Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Add the batter. Gentle place pears into centre of cake. Not necessary to press them down more than 1/4 of the way through as they will sink while baking.
Cook in moderately hot oven for 35 mins. Test cake with a knife by inserting knife through batter near pears. If clear the cake is ready.
let cake cool remove from baking dish. Serve with extra reserved compote and cream or yoghurt.