We have a lot of pears – conference, Williams (I think) and some delicious looking Doyenne du Comice.
I wasn’t feeling very well at the weekend, it was a bit wet on Saturday so I decided to make cake.
This recipe if from Nigel Slater Tender vol. II it makes a large cake which we managed to eat in three days.
You can make it without the fudge sauce, but it is so easy and so delicious why would you?
I also made a massive batch of poached pears in sweet wine to have alongside the cake – look, if you are going to have cake for breakfast, it has to look vaguely healthy!
Cinnamon Pear Cake: for the cake batter – 200g butter; 200g caster sugar; 3 eggs – beaten; 200g self raising flour; 1/2 tsp baking powder; for the pears (in the cake) – 750g of ripe pears; half a lemon; 40g butter; 3tbs muscovado sugar; 1/2 heaped tsp of cinnamon.
Peel, core and roughly chop the pears – pop into water with a squeeze of lemon juice to stop them going brown. Melt the butter and sugar in a frying pan and then drain and add the pears to the pan with the cinnamon – cook until they are tender and the sauce is thick. Don’t let the sugar turn dark and bitter – i.e. keep an eye on it!
Meanwhile make the cake – cream together the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and creamy. Alternate adding some of the beaten eggs and the flour. Fold in the rest of the flour and baking powder. add in the pears and their sauce. Put the mix into a 24 cm cake tin with a loose bottom. Bake for 45 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 160C – check it is done by inserting a knife – it should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin before removing from the tin.
Fudge Sauce: 100g muscovado sugar; 100g golden syrup; 50g butter; 150ml double cream; 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract.
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir only to stop it sticking. Stir in the cream and the vanilla extract and remove from the heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools and over the next 24 hours it lightens in colour.
Poached Pears in Sweet wine: lots of pears; 350ml of sweet wine; 400ml water; 250g sugar; juice of half a lemon.
Peel, core and quarter the pears. Put them in a pan with the wine, water, lemon juice and sugar. bring to the boil and then let it simmer gently for 45 minutes or until done. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and then boil the liquor hard until it forms a thin syrup.
To serve put a slice of cake on a plate, spoon over the fudge sauce and put a few poached pears on the side.
N.B. I do try not to have the fudge sauce on the cake when it is for breakfast – James isn’t so restrained!