It’s a bit fiddly (for me, probably not for you) but boy the effort for this wonderful cake is worth it. Possibly the most desirable, dark, sticky slab of gorgeousness since I perfected the marmalade cake. Well, you know, in my own way.
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
A pinch of ground cloves
1 medium egg
125g light brown sugar
90g black treacle
125 ml sour cream (just put a couple of drops of lemon juice in ordinary milk. Same thing)
50g unsalted butter melted
50g unsalted butter
100g light brown sugar
6 pear halves: tinned or very ripe
Heat the oven to 180c/fan160/gas 4. To make the topping, gently melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the sugar and stir for a couple of minutes. Smooth over the base of a 20cm cake tin with a removable base, 7cm deep. Arrange the pears on top, cut side down.
To make the cake, sift the flour, bicarb and spices into a bowl. Blend the egg, sugar, treacle, soured milk and butter into another bowl and fold in the flour mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon for a minute or two. Put on a baking tray and bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, run a knife around the edge and set aside to cool. Remove the collar and invert the cake onto a nice plate. Eat at room temperature – avoid chilling – with a dollop of creme fraiche.
Then sit back and try not do that ecstatic nodding, eyes rolling thing.