This cake is based on one I ate 3 years ago in the Lake District, at Chesters by the River, near Ambleside. The pears work really well in the ginger cake, giving it a different twist. I really like using fruit in cakes: I think you can use less sugar, which is always a good thing, and we always seem to have some fruit that needs using up. In this cake, it adds moisture and lifts the heaviness of the ginger cake.
- For the cake:
- 3 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
- 120g butter
- 100g black treacle
- 100g honey
- 120g light brown sugar
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 eggs
- 150ml milk
- For the icing:
250g icing sugar
- 25ml milk
- Zest of 1 lemon
- You will also need either a 23cm diameter round cake tin, or a 20cm square cake tin.
- 1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 160C for fan oven or Gas Mark 5. Grease and line your cake tin.
- 2. Melt the butter, treacle, honey and sugar together in a saucepan over a low heat.
- 3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- 4. Mix together the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda.
- 5. Beat the eggs with the milk.
- 6. Pour the buttery syrup mixture onto the flour. Mix thoroughly. It might look at first like it won’t beat together, but it will.
- 7. Add in the eggs and milk. Beat well, until mixture is smooth.
- 8. Pour into the cake tin. Place the pears into the batter. It doesn’t really matter how you do this as they will eventually be covered by icing, but spread them out so that each slice will get some pear.
- 9. Bake for 45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- 10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, and then on a cake rack while you make the icing.
- 11. For the icing, beat the icing sugar and the butter slowly together in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until it looks like sand.
- 12. Add the milk and beat again slowly. When the milk is incorporated, increase the speed and beat for at least 5 minutes until the icing is really smooth and fluffy.
- Add the lemon zest and beat for 30 seconds until mixed through.
- 13. When the cake is thoroughly cool, spread the icing over the top of the cake.
- 14. Cut into appropriate sized pieces – I get 12 from a 20cm square tin.