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  • Makes 1
  • 10 mins prep
  • 60 mins cook

‘Trio of sugars’ cake with caramel pears

‘Trio of sugars’ cake with caramel pears

This super-sized cake fits the bill for those times when you just need a hit of sugar. It’s got all those wonderful caramel-sweet flavours in there to cure a sugar craving good and proper. Photograph by Jani Shepherd.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 350 g butter
  • 1/3 cup black treacle
  • 1 1/2 cups soft brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup golden syrup
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 450 ml milk
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten

Pears

  • 1/3 cup golden syrup
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 small-to-medium pears, peeled with stems left intact, sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browing)

Caramel butter cream

  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Salted caramel sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 300 ml cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Steps

Cake

  1. To make the cake, preheat oven to 170°C fanbake. Grease and line two 28cm cake tins.
  2. In a large saucepan over gentle heat combine the butter, treacle, brown sugar and golden syrup, stirring occasionally until melted.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and a pinch of salt together into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In another bowl or mixing jug, mix together the milk and eggs.
  5. Mix the syrup mixture into the milk and eggs then gently fold this into the dry ingredients. Divide mixture evenly between the tins and bake for around 25 minutes. Take out of the oven, leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes then remove from tins and cool on wire racks.

Pears

  1. To prepare the pears, in a large saucepan big enough to fit all the pears in one layer, heat the syrup, water and sugar with the cinnamon sticks. Stir to dissolve, bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Reduce to low heat and add the pears, stems upwards, in an even layer. Roughly cover with a circle of baking paper to hold in the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the pears are tender but still holding their shape well.
  3. Carefully remove pears from the poaching liquid and set aside to cool. Reserve liquid for another use, such as an ice cream topping, or drink syrup (pour over ice and top with soda water).

Caramel butter cream

  1. For the caramel butter cream, in a large bowl, or mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and softened butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the milk and mix again. Add the muscovado and icing sugar gradually and beat until you have a smooth consistency.

Salted caramel sauce

  1. For the salted caramel sauce, in a heavy-based pan set over medium heat, heat the caster sugar and water until it begins to turn a golden amber colour – do not stir. Tilt the pan from side to side to help it all caramelise, and take great care not to burn it.
  2. Still over the heat, carefully pour in the cream; watch out as it will bubble like mad but keep stirring until incorporated and the mixture is a gorgeous caramel colour. Add butter and the teaspoon of salt and stir until combined.
  3. Set aside until needed (once cooled, store it airtight in the fridge). Before using, gently warm in the microwave.
  4. To assemble, cut both cakes in half horizontally to make four layers.
  5. Place one layer on a platter and spread with a quarter of the butter cream, place another layer on top and repeat until you have four layers and the top is spread with butter cream. (If necessary, stabilise layers by poking a couple of bamboo skewers, snipped a little shorter than the cake, down through the cake.)
  6. Carefully arrange the poached pears on top. Just before serving, drizzle pears and cake with the warm salted caramel sauce and sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt. The cake will keep for two or three days in an airtight container in the pantry; leftover caramel sauce should be stored in the fridge.

Average rating

3 ratings
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