Bruise the cardamom pods. Peel, halve and core the peas. Soften the butter. Separate the eggs. Melt and slightly cool the dark chocolate. Sift the plain flour.
- 1 Put 50g sugar per cake being made and the water in a large pan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- 2 Bring to a simmer. Add the cardamom pods.
- 3 With the pear halves cut side down, score them, lengthways, about 5mm apart. Do not cut all the way through.
- 4 Place in the pan and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- 5 Turn and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving the syrup.
- 6 Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 (160°C for fan ovens). Butter one 20cm springform cake tin per cake being made and line the base with baking parchment.
- 7 Cream together the butter and remaining sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
- 8 Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
- 9 Stir in the melted chocolate.
- 10 Gently fold in the almonds and flour.
- 11 In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff then gently fold into the mixture.
- 12 Spoon into the tin and level the surface.
- 13 Arrange the pears – scored side up – in a circle on top, with the stalk ends facing the middle.
- 14 Bake for 50-60 minutes until just firm.
- 15 Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing.
- 16 Simmer the reserved syrup over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes until thickened slightly.
- 17 Remove the cardamom pods and brush the syrup over the top of the cake, and serve.
- Average per serving
- Calories 490.0kCal