I made this cake purely out of necessity. It has been a while since I last baked a cake and I had to use the small pears that were going too ripe in the crisper compartment of my fridge so I made something to satisfy the two criteria. I mentioned in several posts back about my cravings for caramel. Although this cake doesn't feature caramel per se, the treacle in the gingerbread contributes caramel notes that linger with the sweet perfume of pear and the warm spiciness of cinammon and ginger making this cake so rib-stickingly good!
This cake is simple to make and assemble. If like me, you don't forget to place the pears cut side down in the pan before adding the cake batter, you will be rewarded with a rather attractive old-fashion upside-down cake that I didn't.
I adapted the steamed gingerbread pudding recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, Tartine by Elisabeth M Prueitt and Chad Robertson. Although I have not tried the original recipe prior to baking this cake, I made a few alterations and found the results very agreeable. If you are looking for a sponge-textured cake, then this is NOT the cake you are after. Because of the liquid content, this recipe yields a hefty, moist and firm cake - delicious at room temperature but incredibly awesome eaten warm with a generous helping of cold creme anglaise (pouring custard) or a dollop of thick cream.