For some reason I associate Halloween with gingerbread although I am not sure why! And I mean real gingerbread, not a biscuit but a rich, moist, sticky cake. I have been looking for a good recipe for years now and I am thrilled to say that this recipe is outstanding. The addition of pear is fabulous and the edges of the cake, turn to almost toffee.
I adapted it from an American recipe with cups as measures and the mixture is really runny which makes it rather worrying to bake. Make sure your tin Is big enough, keep your oven low and if the cake looks as if it is getting too brown, cover it with foil. Just keep going until it is cooked and it will be worth it.
Pear Gingerbread Cake
250g soft brown sugar
250g butter, melted, cooled
3 pears, peeled, cored, cut into 2cm slices
340g golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sifted
325g plain flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
200g sour cream or crème fraiche
Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Lightly grease a 6cm-deep, 23cm (base) square cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.
Sprinkle 100g sugar over base of prepared pan. Pour 80g of the melted butter over sugar. Arrange pear slices in a single layer over butter and sugar.
Place remaining butter in a large bowl. Whisk in syrup, eggs, soda, flour, ground ginger and remaining sugar. Stir in sour cream. Pour batter over pears. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes. Turn out on to a platter. Serve.