|(just look at that juicy slice of pear, what you can't see is the crunch of caramel you hit, before you bite into that luscious pear)|
I was watching an episode of River Cottage on replay. I like to watch it this way, so if anything gruesome comes on, I can just fast forward. I do love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's passion for food and love watching him cook, but some of it is just stomach churning.
Not so this dish. A delicious pear cake, ever so moist with slices of juicy, caramelised pears sunk into it's depths. I slammed on my pause button and grabbed a notebook (there is always one to hand anywhere in the house) and started to scribble down the recipe as he cooked. My mouth was watering as I continued to watch and scribble. Needless to say, I made the cake as soon as I could lay my hands on some ground almonds.
Gorgeous, just gorgeous! I just wish my evening photography was as good as the cake was!
Greedy Pudding Pear Cake
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs
150g self-raising flour
150g ground almonds
a pinch of cinnamon
3 tender to firm pears
1 tbsp caster sugar
Heat the oven to 180 c/ fan 160 c/ gas 4 (Hugh didn't specify the oven temperature, so I just went with the temperature I used for my Apple Cake). Line a 20cm cake tin. I like to use the inserts available from Lakeland, it saves time and effort. Don't you just hate lining cake tins?
Peel the pears and cut into 3 long slices. Melt the butter until bubbling and then add the sugar. move the pan about until the sugar has begun to melt and the cook the pears in this syrup for a few minutes until they are beginning to colour. Once they are tender, take of the heat and set aside.
Whisk the 300g of softened butter until pale and fluffy (one of Hugh's tips), then add the caster sugar. Still whisking, crack open 4 eggs and add one at a time. Sieve in the flour and ground almonds and fold together. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and stir into the mixture.
Smooth the cake mixture into your prepared cake tin, top with the pears, making a flower pattern. Spoon any left over caramel from the pan over the pears and the bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Hugh's cake came out a lot browner than mine, but I think that might have been to do with the oven temperature. When I make this again, I will be doing it just the same way. The cake was lovely and golden and baked to perfection. I may add a little more cinnamon next time, as it wasn't very noticeable in the first cake. My friend Andrew, hinted that he would like some ginger in it next time and I think that would work well too.