Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pear Parkin Upside-Down Cake

Seeing as I am from Yorkshire I thought it was pretty ridiculous that I had never made my own Parkin for bonfire night. I am a big fan of Parkin and have fond memories of annually chowing down as a child.

Rather than making boring old ordinary Parkin, I started to think of how I could take a normal Parkin recipe and add my own twist. Inspired by Pear and Ginger Breakfast Muffins we had at And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon, I was at first considering whipping up a batch of Pear Parkin Muffins. But then I remembered that we are getting pretty much muffined and cupcaked out in our house at the moment, especially after recently hosting a cupcake-tastic Hallowe'en Tea Party.

So I started to think about traditional autumnal cakes and it dawned on me hadn't made an upside-down type cake in a while, plus the last time I did it went a bit wrong, and so that was when the idea for the Pear Parkin Upside-Down Cake was born.

Turns out this was a brilliant call - we ate it this weekend with my mum and dad who have been staying with us. The Parkin was lovely and gingery and everyone said the pear on top was a great twist as it made the cake quite sticky and very moist. The entire cake was actually gobbled all up in just two sittings and went perfectly with a nice cup of tea. It was perfect for sharing with family while relaxing in a cosy house. I will definitely make this again next year, unless I come up with any new bonfire night ideas!

225g self-raising flour
110g caster sugar
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
55g butter
110g golden syrup
200ml milk
1 egg
6-7 pieces crystalised ginger
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 ripe pears

Start preheating the oven to 150 degrees C, or gas mark 2 as we now have a gas oven! Grease and line a cake tin. Sift the flour, caster sugar, ginger and bicarb into a large mixing bowl together.

Place the butter and golden syrup into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring together until the butter is all melted into the syrup.

Measure out the milk in a measuring jug and crack the egg into the jug. Beat the egg into the milk.

Add the syrup-butter mixture to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well until the cake mix is the texture of breadcrumbs. Tear the crystalised ginger up into little bits using your hands and add to the mix.

Gradually add the milk and egg mixture to the mixing bowl, stirring as you go to make a smooth cake batter. Peel and core the pears and cut into thin slices. Sprinkle the brown sugar onto the base of the cake tin.

Arrange the pear slices on top of the brown sugar in concentric circles. Pour the cake batter on top of the pears and carefully place in the oven and bake for around an hour and a half or until the cake is baked through and a skewer comes out of the middle of the cake clean.

Turn the cake upside down onto a plate or cake stand and leave to cool. Once cool, carefully remove the cake tin.

You should then be left with an upside down cake with a sticky, moist top covered in pears! Happy Bonfire Night!

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