This cake is gluten free bliss and just perfect for a special occasion. Enjoy!
- 350g caster sugar
- 300ml pear or apple juice
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 6 cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1L water
- 6 pears
- 250g butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla essence
- 6 eggs, separated
- 150g almonds (or ground almonds)
- 150g coarse polenta
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Spicy Pear Syrup
- Combine all syrup ingredients, except the pears, in a saucepan on a medium heat.
- Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Peel the pears and squeeze a little lemon juice over them to stop them browning.
- Add the pears to the syrup and cover with a cartouche (cut a circle of baking paper the same size as the saucepan, to make a lid).
- Simmer pears for 5 minutes or until slightly tender.
- Remove pears from the syrup and set aside.
- Whilst you get on with the cake, let the mixture simmer for another hour or until it has reduced to a lovely rich syrup. Strain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
- Add the almonds to the TM bowl and grind on speed 9 for 10 seconds. Set aside.
- Add the butter and sugar to the TM bowl and cream on speed 4 for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and repeat until fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, start the Thermie running on speed 4 and then add the egg yolks, one at a time, over about a minute, through the hole in the lid.
- Add the ground almonds, polenta, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix on speed 4 for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and repeat. Set aside in a large bowl.
- To a clean TM bowl (this is where a second bowl and blade set comes in handy) insert the butterfly attachment.
- Add the egg whites and beat on speed 4, with the measuring cap off, until they have stiff peaks (around 4 mins).
- Fold gently into the cake batter.
- Spoon the mixture into the greased and lined tin, smooth the top and then press the pears evenly into the cake batter around the cake tin (place one in the centre, if you elect not to have one in the centre you will need to allow extra cooking time).
- Bake on the centre shelf of your oven for 30 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 160°C. Cover the top of the cake with a layer of baking paper and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cake is firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean.
- Once cake is cooked, remove from the oven and prick all over with a skewer.
- Pour half of the hot syrup over the warm cake and allow to cool.
- Serve with remaining syrup and a dollop of cream.
The syrup can also be turned into an amazing jelly!