This recipe is from Bosco café in Te Kuiti, New Zealand and looks absolutely amazing. Imagine a cake marbled through with caramel, and an edifice of pear towering on top. And it's not too hard to make either - make one and impress your friends. Or be extra cool, and make the recipe into individual cakes.
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
100g (3 ½oz) slightly softened butter, chopped
1 x 375g (13oz) can "Highlander" Caramel
2 tablespoons chopped crystallised ginger
6 firm brown pears, cored and sliced lengthways, skin and stalks left on
Preheat oven to 180oC (350oF) or 160oC (320oF) fan-bake). Put flour, sugar and butter in a food processor. Run machine until mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add eggs and process to a soft dough.
Press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased springform tin with bottom and sides lined with baking paper. Spread caramel over the dough, then crumble remaining pieces of dough on top. Sprinkle chopped ginger over, then randomly place sliced pears, standing up all over the cake. (Place a twisted circle of foil in amongst the pears to hold them upright and check halfway through cooking for any toppling pears.)
Cook for 35-40 minutes or until firm. Cool in tin, remove and dust with icing sugar (confectioner's sugar). Serve with yoghurt or cream.
To make individual cakes, use ½-cup ramekins lined with a 15cm (6 inch) high collar of baking paper. Makes 8. Cook 30 minutes or until firm.
Melanie Simpson and Zena Boroezich at Bosco shared their recipe with Cuisine magazine. www.cuisine.co.nz
If you're like me, and happen not to have a food processor, elbow grease works just as well. To make your own caramel: pour one can of sweetened condensed milk into a double boiler and cook, stirring occasionally, for about one hour. if you can get it already caramelised it makes it so much quicker.