Pear and Honey Syrup Cake

For this "upside-down" cake, pears cooked in syrup are put in the bottom of the cake tin and the batter is placed on top. Once the cake is cooked and turned out, the pears are prettily arranged on top and the syrup soaks down into the cake. It is decadent served with fresh cream.
Serves: 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour

Pears in syrup:
4 pears, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
250g honey
125g butter
Cake batter:
125g softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (works beautifully with gluten-free flour)
1 heaped tsp ground fennel seed (or cinnamon, nutmeg or mixed spice)
1/3 cup milk
250mL double cream, to serve
Pear and Honey Syrup Cake


Preheat oven to 190C. Grease a 25cm cake tin.
For the pears in syrup, gently melt butter and honey together in a pan, stirring regularly. Once it comes to a very gentle simmer (watch it constantly as it can burn in a flash), add pears in a single layer and cook, turning once, until they are tender (about 3 minutes depending on ripeness). Pour into the cake tin and arrange the pears into the desired pattern.
For the cake batter, beat together all ingredients and then spoon into the cake tin to cover the pears. Smooth the top before baking for about an hour or until the cake springs up in the centre when pressed gently.
Serve warm with cream.
*Recipe by Elise Ruthenbeck