There is something unmistakably delicious about ginger and fruit, and I learned that first hand at a cooking class the other day! You’ll see the measurements are in grams, which for baking is almost better, as you can ensure accuracy; however, if you are a bit confused, then check out this conversion list here!
SPICED PEAR AND GINGER UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
For the topping…
- 1 x 400g tin pears
- 55g/2oz butter
- 55g/2oz soft light brown sugar
For the cake…
- melted lard or oil for greasing tin
- 115g/4oz soft dark brown sugar
- 115g/4oz butter
- 170g/6oz black treacle
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 85ml/3fl oz milk
- 1 tsp baking soda
We began by greasing our 8-inch, deep cake tin and preheating the oven to 180°C/350°F. This, our instructor told us, is very important to do before you start putting your ingredients together, as you must act quick once everything is mixed so it can go straight in the oven. Why you ask? Well, it is all about the raising agent on this one: the baking soda. If activated for too long it will stop working, so it is wise to have the little things (tin and heat) prepared so you can pop everything straight in without worrying about the baking soda going wrong.
The majority of ingredients were pre-measured for us; therefore, we simply followed these steps:
- Make the topping: Cream the butter and light brown sugar together in a bowl until soft and light. Spread on the base of the prepared tin. Place the pears, cut side down, on top of the butter and sugar mixture with the tops pointing inwards.
- Make the cake: melt the butter in a saucepan with the dark brown sugar and treacle. Do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
- Sift the flour with the ginger and cinnamon [they can be heaping by the way!] into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the eggs and the cooled treacle mixture. Mix the flour in carefully to make a smooth batter.
- Warm the milk gently, add the baking soda and pour into the batter. Mix well. Pour the mixture carefully over the pears in the tin, making sure they are not dislodged.
- Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until a sharp knife or skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn upside-down on to a plate. Serve warm and cut into wedges.
Simple enough! A good trick of the trade learned along the way… when creaming the butter and sugar, it is good to hold the bowl down firmly or against yourself and use the back of the spoon to firmly cream the ingredients together. Also! Maybe it’s the greedy part of me, but I thought it needed a thicker sugary crust (yum) and a few more pears!
Give it a try and let us know what you think!!!