Pear, stem ginger and sesame cake
Prep 15 min Cook 50 min Serves 6
40g unsalted butter 75g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla bean paste Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (2 tsp)
2 eggs, beaten
75g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder 30g sesame seeds, lightly toasted and roughly blitzed Salt
4 williams pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes (450g net weight) 50g stem ginger, roughly chopped, plus 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup 150ml double cream, whipped to soft peaks, to serve This is somewhere between a cake and a pudding, and consists mainly of fruit, with minimal amounts of flour, sugar and butter. It is truly luxurious served warm with cream. For the best results, use ripe and buttery (rather than firm) pears.
Heat the oven to 170C (160C fan)/ gas 4. Line and grease a 20cm springform cake tin.
In a small saucepan on a medium heat, melt the butter until it has a deep, nutty aroma and has turned amber – about eight minutes. Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes, until cool.
Put the sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in the butter bowl, beat with a spatula, then stir in the eggs until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, sesame seeds and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, stir to combine, then fold in the pears and chopped ginger. Transfer the batter to the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown on top (a skewer will not come out completely clean, but shouldn’t be too wet).
Brush the ginger syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, then leave to cool for about 20 minutes. Release the cake from its tin and serve warm with whipped double cream.