The celebration supper… made easy: Caramel whisky pear cake
As decadent as it is comforting – perfect for ringing in a feel-good New Year.
75g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
150g soft light brown sugar
5 tbsp whisky
2 comice pears
200g plain flour
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
200g soft light brown sugar
50g ground almonds
150G 0% fat greek yogurt
2 medium free-range eggs
4 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g salted butter, melted
crème fraîche or thick cream, per servire
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 23cm nonstick cake tin with a removable collar, then cut out a circle of baking paper about 4cm larger than the tin. Cut about six vents from the edge of the paper to the edge of tin. Lay it in place so the vents come up the side of the tin, and overlap to sit flat.
- For the caramel, heat the butter, sugar and 3 tablespoons of the whisky in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until the butter and sugar are melted.
- Peel, quarter and core the pears. Coat the base of the tin with half the caramel and arrange the pear quarters curved sides down, pointed ends inwards around the outside. Keep the remaining caramel for serving.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and nutmeg into a large bowl, then add the sugar plus the ground almonds and stir to blend.
- Whisk the remaining wet ingredients with the remaining 2 tablespoons of whisky in another large bowl until smooth. Stir this into the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour this over and around the pears so they are covered, and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre. If making the cake in advance, set it aside to cool in the tin.
- If reheating the cake, just before sitting down to eat the main course, turn the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and pop the cake (still in the tin) in to reheat for 20 minuti.
- To serve, run a knife around the edge and invert the cake on to a large serving plate and peel off the paper. If the caramel has set, gently rewarm with a tablespoon of water to dissolve the sugar crystals and serve a couple of teaspoons trickled over each slice, plus a dollop of crème fraîche or cream.
GET AHEAD You can prepare to the end of step five up to a day in advance and reheat in the tin.