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Spiced Pear & Butterscotch Cake

A cosy, spiced cake for autumn. Adapted from taste.com.au
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

For the cake:

  • 200 g / 7oz softened butter
  • 220 / 7.5oz caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 85 g / 3 oz plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 85 g / 3 oz almond meal
  • 2 ripe pears
  • 2 tsp caster sugar for finishing

For the butterscotch sauce:

  • 200 / 7oz  soft brown sugar
  • 50 / 2oz  butter
  • 250 ml  / 8fl oz / 1 cup cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of sea salt

Instructions
 

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/175°C/350°F and grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and spices and set aside.
  • Cream together the softened butter and 220g of sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the flour mixture and ground almonds until everything is combined.
  • Spoon into prepared cake tin and level off the top.
  • Cut pears into quarters and remove the cores. Thinly slice each quarter, and arrange the slices over the top of the cake. Make sure that each slice overlaps slightly.
  • Sprinkle the top with the extra caster sugar.
  • Bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning cake out into a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make the butterscotch sauce:

  • Add brown sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla to a pan. Place pan over a medium heat and stir until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for around five mintutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Taste and tweak, adding salt and more vanilla if needed!