1½ tsp baking powder
3½ dl plain flour
150 g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 dl caster sugar
3 large eggs
½ dl plain yoghurt
1 dl dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground cardamom
2 firm but sweet pears
- Pre-heat the oven to 175 °C. Butter and flour a large gugelhupf cake tin (25 cm diameter).
- Stir together the baking powder and flour in a bowl.
- In another, larger bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then whisk until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and whisk in to incorporate fully before adding the next.
- Sift the flour mixture into the batter and add the yoghurt and stir through to mix thoroughly.
- Spoon carefully into the gugelhupf tin, making sure it's evenly distributed and level.
- In a small bowl, stir together the muscovado sugar, cinnamon and cardamom.
- Wash and peel the pears, trim the stalk and cut into four wedges. Remove the seed core. If the pieces are too long, trim the thin parts to make them roughly the same length as the depth of the batter.
- Roll each pear piece into the muscovado mixture and push into the cake batter, space the 8 wedges evenly. The pears can stick out a cm or two above the surface.
- Sprinkle any leftover muscovado mixture on top of the cake.
- Bake the cake in the oven for 45 minutes, check with a skewer if it's ready before removing, but careful not to pierce a pear.
- Remove from the oven and let cool down a bit in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack, but still leaving the tin over it.
- The cake can be lightly dusted with icing sugar when serving.
This is a really tasty cake, I ended up making it twice in quick succession. There are two tricky bits to it - choosing suitable pears, that are sweet, but reasonably firm and not too juicy and pushing the pears in so that they'll end up in the middle of each slice of cake. I didn't succeed on either of these. The first cake had pears that weren't quite ripe enough, so there was a crunch to them and not much flavour. The second cake used riper pears, but this resulted in them going quite mushy in the bake, so I need to do more research on pears suitable for baking. And I also failed on the second point:
Lundulph wanted to have a stronger pear flavour too, but all in all, very tasty.