This is one of those dense cakes, more rustic than light-as-a-feather. Just the way I like my cakes to be. Ice cream to serve was suggested, but it’s hard to find a good one. Find one however, I did – a preservative-free rhubarb one, a blush-pink colour that looked rather good next to slices of the golden cake. If I could have just one more piece of cooking equipment, it would be an ice cream churn.
This is pretty much Truffle’s recipe with a few small changes here and there to suit what we had in the cupboard - and I hate mixed peel, so out it went. Truffle’s recipe uses 8 tablespoons of butter which I reckoned on being about 125 g and, seemingly, it worked.
Delicious still warm with ice cream or some plain, thick yoghurt swirled with a little cinnamon and the seeds scraped from half a vanilla pod. You could even add a drizzle of pure maple syrup to the yoghurt, just to sweeten the deal.
Pear and spice cake
¾ cup of almond meal
½ cup of polenta
½ cup of plain flour
Large pinch of baking soda
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
½ teaspoon of allspice
125g of unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup of sugar, plus extra sugar for sprinkling
1/3 cup of plain yoghurt (or buttermilk)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2-3 pears, cored and thinly sliced
You’ll also need a spring form pan approximately 25cm in diameter, though Truffle suggests (wisely) that you could use a smaller one, in which case you will only need 1-2 pears. Grease it and line the base with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 160 C.
Tip the ingredients from the almond meal through to the allspice into a large bowl and whisk to aerate. Easier than sifting and just as effective.
Cream (beat) the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yoghurt (or buttermilk) and vanilla and mix well.
Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing well before spooning into the prepared tin, smoothing the mixture down (not too obsessively) with a spatula. Arrange the pear slices as artfully (or not) as you like on top. Sprinkle a little sugar over the pears and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes away clean.
No photo of finished cake. It was all eaten before I had a chance to do so.
Truly, the mark of a Good Cake.