With its hits of hot ginger and sweet pear, a slice of this cake would be very welcome with a cup of tea on a chilly autumn afternoon. It also makes a great pudding dessert, served warm with cold creme fraiche. If you can't find stem ginger in syrup, use crystallised ginger instead, and substitute the ginger syrup with golden syrup.
160g unsalted butter, cubed
220g soft light brown sugar
150g black treacle
100g ginger syrup (from a jar of stem ginger)
200ml full-fat milk
60ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
100g stem ginger, roughly chopped
150g dark rye flour
100g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ginger powder
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp salt
3 ripe medium pears (about 450g), peeled and cored; half chopped into ½ cm pieces, the rest thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 190C (170C fan-forced). Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
2. Combine the butter, brown sugar, treacle and ginger syrup in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Stir gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat. Add the milk and oil, whisking gently to combine, then add the eggs. Whisk until the mix is combined, then fold in the chopped stem ginger. Set aside for the moment.
3. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt into a large bowl, tipping in the bits of bran and germ from the rye flour caught in the sieve. Pour the wet, syrupy mixture into the dry ingredients, stir to combine, then fold in the chopped pears.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin, then gently lay the sliced pears on top, fanning them out so they are evenly distributed. Place the cake on an oven tray and onto the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Bake for 60 to 80 minutes (varies depending on how juicy the pears are) or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool for a few minutes before removing the cake tin and transferring to a platter.
Tip: The cake keeps well for up to four days. Slices may be warmed for a few seconds in the microwave before serving.
If you like this recipe, try Helen's chocolate, pear and olive oil loaf cake.
Find more of Helen Goh's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.