Caramelised Pear, Ginger and Almond Upside-Down Cake
Pears are a nutrient dense food, containing significant amounts of potassium, Vitamin C and fiber. They are good for the skin, the intestines and the heart, and according to traditional Chinese medicine, they are extremely beneficial for the lungs. And what better way to squeeze the nutrients from them, then to add them to cake?
  1. Preheat oven to 160 C. Butter a 23 cm springform cake tin, and line the base with a 26 cm circle of baking paper.
  2. To make the topping: put the butter, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon in a small saucepan, and stir over a medium heat until the butter has melted, cook for two more minutes.
  3. Pour the topping into the cake tin, making sure the base is completely covered. Place the pear slices in a pretty, circular pattern on top of the caramel, making sure there are no gaps between them.
  4. To make the batter: beat the butter and rice syrup in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, for approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the grated ginger, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  6. Mix in the molasses and make sure it’s well incorporated. Don’t worry if at this stage it looks as if your cake is separating, it will all come together when the dry ingredients are added.
  7. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, spice mix and salt. Stir through the almond meal and mix well.
  8. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the cake batter, then 1/3 of the milk, alternating until it’s all combined. It’s very important to not over-mix the batter at this stage.
  9. Pour the cake batter on top of the pears, and bake for 110 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  10. Let the cake cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before carefully placing a serving plate over the tin and inverting it.
  11. The cake is lovely when served warm, with creme fraiche, cream or yoghurt.
Recipe Notes

*Herbies Fragrant Sweet Spices is a gorgeous blend of coriander, cassia, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, poppy seeds, cloves, green cardamon and rose petals – available at The Health Emporium.