This little cake is one of the easiest and most adaptable cakes. Soft and dense, it can be served warm or cold. The basic batter can be baked on its own or makes a perfect partner for almost any soft fruits. This recipe calls for Conference pears, try to find ones that are quite firm but not green.
Recipe (by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
175g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
2 organic eggs
75g ground almonds
75g self raising flour
Preheat oven to 170C or 375F or gas mark 3.
Grease 20cm diameter spring form cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Peel, core and cut pears into 8 segments each. Gently fry the pears in 25g of the butter and the tablespoon of sugar over a medium heat until golden and caremalized. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Put the remaining butter and sugar into a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the almonds and flour to the batter and fold in gently. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten to reach the sides. Arrange the pieces of pear on top of the cake. Bake for about 45 mins or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
I think it goes beautifully with plain yoghurt, but a bit of cream would be lovely too!