Caramelised Cardamom Pears and Buckwheat Cake
3 organic pears
2 cardamom pods
25g unsalted butter
2 T maple syrup
150g unsalted butter, softened
75g buckwheat flour, sifted
2 large organic pasture reared eggs
75g finely ground almonds (preferably activated)
good pinch ground cinnamon
110g rapadura (evaporated cane juice), coconut blossom sugar, jaggery or maple syrup 125g)
1 t baking powder (aluminum free)
Preheat the oven to 170
Start by preparing the caramelised pears. Peel, quarter and core the pears. Tip the seeds from the cardamom pods into a mortar and grind with the pestle to a powder. Heat a frying pan and add the ground cardamom seeds, butter and maple syrup. As soon as the mixture starts to melt and sizzle, arrange the quartered pears flat-side down in a circle with the thin ends meeting in the centre (this ensures the pears colour evenly and stay in good shape). Cook for 5–6 minutes on each side, then remove the pan from the heat.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until pale and fluffy with an electric hand mixer. Add 2–3 tablespoons of the flour, baking powder and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Continue to beat until you have a light, fluffy mixture (if it looks as if it’s curdling, add another tablespoon of flour). Fold in the remaining flour, the ground almonds, cinnamon and rapadura or maple syrup.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top with the back of a spoon or a palette knife. Carefully place the pears on top of the mixture, arranged in a circle flat-side down, then drizzle any remaining pan juices over the top. Bake in the oven for 40–50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
This is great for afternoon tea or as a yummy hot pudding served with cream, marscapone, crème fraiche or natural yoghurt.
* Adapted from an original recipe by Amber Rose