With autumn upon us the rhythm of our days are changing once more, we sleep a little later in the morning, warm teas replace cold beers in the evenings and once more I start dreaming of cake. Cake and I have a seasonal love affair… we get along best during the cooler months, warm oven fresh cake served with creamy homemade vanilla yoghurt and sweetened preserved summer fruits (which I’m in the process of preparing now for the cool months ahead).
I’ve been watching a bit of River Cottage lately, having just discovered it’s inspiring awesomeness – it’s like falling in with new friends who somehow seem like old friends. I love watching the combination of farm rearing and veggie growing and kitchen adventures and that is where this little pound cake is inspired from. I don’t know if I’d ever made a pound cake before, but I’ve got to say… we like it! And my guess is you will too. I love the additions of sweet fruit and the little hint of spice that makes this cake something really very special.
Undeniably the best part is you probably have all of the ingredients in your cupboard right now, and it takes less than an hour to have it fresh out of the oven and on your table.
PERFECT PEAR + CARDAMOM POUND CAKE
200g self raising flour
200g raw sugar
10-15 Cardamom pods cracked open
2 beautiful australian grown pears
Preheat oven to 180C
Gently crack open your cardamom pods and remove the lovely black insides. Discard the shells and pop the insides into a mortar and pestle and pound into a fine powder… Add the cardamom powder to the flour and put aside.
Cream butter and sugar in your mixer and once creamed add eggs and beat gently until combined. Add sifted flour and cardamom mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon until combined.
Peel pears and slice the cheeks off the stem of each pear (ensuring you have 4 cheeks of similar size). Cut thin slits in the cheek to help the pear cook through quickly. Pour the prepared batter into a round cake tin and gently place the four cheeks onto the top of the batter
Bake for 35-40 minutes in the oven.
When cooled dust with icing sugar. Enjoy alone, in silence with a good book – or you know, surrounded by friends and grubby kids and yelling and laughing and all the noise. Either way, it’ll still be delicious.