200g butter, cubed
175g / ¾ cup demerara sugar
1/3 cup golden or date syrup
½ tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
125g/ml or 1/2 cup plain yoghurt or buttermilk
2 free-range eggs, at room temperature
3 medium pears, washed & skins on
250g/ 2 cups plain flour
3 tbsp freshly grated ginger, or 1 tbsp ground dried ginger
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 pinch of ground cardamom, more if you like cardamom
Preheat the oven to 160C regular bake. Cut a baking paper circle for the bottom of a 20cm round cake pan or line a loaf tin (about 20cm long) with baking paper.
Cream the butter, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla using an electric handmixer, or the paddle of a stand-up mixer until pale and fluffy. The add the eggs one by one and keep mixing. Mix baking soda & powder with the flour and then add half a cup at a time alternating with the milk/yoghurt, last add ginger. Whisk until everything is combined, but don’t overmix.
Cut the pears into quarters and remove the cores. Cut into thin wedges.
Pour the batter into your prepared cake tin/loaf pan. Arrange the thin slices of pears on top, tightly packing them in by standing them up in the batter.
For a loaf pan place the thinner top ends together with the bottom ends facing the edges, thus making a kind of roof.
For the round pan place the thin ends to the middle and the bottom ends facing outwards.
Bake in the preheated oven for 70 - 90 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes or so, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve with vanilla icecream or whipped cream.