This month's theme for Sugar High Friday - ginger, came at just the right time as we in Australia slipped firmly into winter. Warming ginger is the perfect antidote to cold rainy days - as is a slice of warm Pear and Ginger Upside-down Cake.
The base of the cake is highly spiced and dense like traditional gingerbread - my oven may have been a little too high, the edges weren't burnt but they were a little chewy - but I thought that actually improved the cake by adding another texture. The pear was moist and sweet, I love the slightly grainy texture of cooked pear. This cake is great the next day but it really is at it's best straight out of the oven served with cream.
Pear and Ginger Upside-down Cake
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup golden syrup
3 firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Whipped cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350F) and spray a deep 20cm cake tin with oil.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bi-carb soda and spices.
Combine the milk and vanilla extract.
Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg and beat well. Beat in the golden syrup.
Mix in the flour and milk alternately beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Arrange the pears in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the batter over the pears.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool 10 minutes. Using small knife, cut around sides of pan to loosen cake. Turn cake out into rack and cool slightly.
Serve warm with whipped cream.
(adapted from an Epicurious.com recipe)
Sugar High Friday