- 125ml (½ cup) water
- 50g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 whole small or 4 medium whole pears, approx. 100g (such as Beurre Bosc, Howell, Honey varieties or Nashi)
- 175g butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (250g) caster sugar
- ½ cup (75g) brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 ¼ cups (225g) self-raising flour
- ⅓ cup (40g) desiccated coconut
- 150ml milk
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Place the water, sugar and cinnamon into a medium sized saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add the pears, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove pears from syrup and set pears aside to cool. Discard syrup.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Grease and line the base of a 26cm spring form pan with baking paper.
- Attach the flat beater to the stand mixer and the pouring shield (if available) to a 4.8L mixing bowl. Add the butter and sugars to the bowl, beat on speed 2 until just combined, increase to speed 6 and beat for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, scrapping down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a spatula.
- Reduce to speed 2, add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition. Add the flour, coconut and milk and continue beating until mixture is just combined. Increase to speed 6 and beat for a further 3 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pears evenly around the pan (you may need 6 or 8 pears, depending on size). Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 30 minutes. Cover the pan with a sheet of greased aluminium foil, secure the sides tightly and bake a further 35 – 40 minutes or until the cake is firm when tested. Uncover and cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Cool completely and dust with icing sugar.
- Any small pear is suitable such as Corella. Smaller Beurre Bosc pears can also be used but will stick further out of the cake batter.
- Take care when covering the cake with the foil not to tear the foil with the pear stems. The covering is to create a steam bath effect and ensures the cake will cook evenly.
- Don't worry if the pears discolour on the base during the poaching.