Poached pear cake

poached pear cake
Serves 10-12
For the poached pears:
300g soft brown sugar
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
6 firm pears, peeled

For the cake:
200g unsalted butter, softened
100g light brown sugar
100g dark brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk

For the icing:
150ml double cream
30g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g mascarpone, at room temperature

To decorate:
Ground cinnamon
  1. For the poached pears, pour one litre of water into a large saucepan, with a fitted lid. Add the sugar, cardamom, cinnamon stick and stair anise. Stir in the vanilla pod and seeds, then bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the pears. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the pears are tender when pierced ith a skewer, then remove and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with non-stick parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Fold in the self-raising flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, baking powder and milk until just combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow the sponge to cool completely.
  6. For the icing, whisk together the cream, icing sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and whip to stiff peaks.
  7. To decorate the cake, dollop the icing on top of the cake in a mound. Dst with cinnamon and top with the poached pears.

Per Serving: 436kcals, 22.2g fat (13.4g saturated), 55.5g carbs (35.6g sugars), 6.3g protein, 3.9g fibre, 0.149g sodium