An impressive centrepiece that delivers in looks and in flavour.
Roasted spiced pears
3 tablespoons golden caster sugar
100 ml pear cider
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt flakes
Caramelised pecan nuts
50 g golden caster sugar
20 pecan nuts
Pinch of sea salt flakes
145 g non-dairy butter
180 g dark brown muscovado sugar
160 g black treacle
100 g ginger (in syrup), finely chopped plus 2 tablespoons of the ginger syrup
½ nutmeg, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon of sea salt flakes
2 pears, grated
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
300 g self-raising flour
130 g golden caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoon of thyme leaves
115 ml pear cider
50 g butter
¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes
100 ml oat cream
Roasted Spiced Pears – Method:
- Peel, core and quarter the pears and lay in an ovenproof dish.
- Sprinkle over the caster sugar and cinnamon, and pour in the cider. Add a pinch of sea salt flakes.
- Bake at 180ºC / 160ºC fan for 30 mins, basting half way though, until the pears are soft when pierced with a knife.
- Allow to cool.
The pears can be made 1 day ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Caramelised Pecan Nuts – Method:
- Put the pecans on a piece of baking parchment and place in a heatproof dish.
- Place the sugar in a small heavy pan and place on a medium-high heat. Swirl the pan occasionally once the sugar starts to melt around the edges (don’t be tempted to stir it).
- Once the sugar has fully melted and turned golden in colour, pour over the pecan nuts and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
- Allow to cool completely, then chop into chunks and set aside.
The caramelised pecans can be made a couple of days ahead, and stored in an airtight container.
Bundt Cake – Method:
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC / 150ºC fan. Spray the Bundt tin with cake release, or butter well, making sure to coat all the grooves.
- Place the butter, sugar and treacle in a large heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan containing a couple of inches of water. Place on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and stir briskly.
- Sift the flour, spices and sea salt into a bowl and whisk (or use a fork) to combine.
- Add the chopped ginger, syrup and grated pears to the melted butter and sugar, then fold in the dry ingredients.
- Pour in the cake batter, then bake for 45 mins until cooked (when a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean).
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then invert over a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
The cake can be made 1 day ahead, and stored in an airtight container.
Thyme Caramel – Method:
- Place the sugar and thyme in a small heavy pan, and place on a medium-high heat. Swirl the pan occasionally once the sugar starts to melt around the edges (don’t be tempted to stir it).
- Once the sugar has turned deep caramel in colour, pour in the cider. Take care as the syrup will boil furiously for a few seconds. Swirl the pan and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the butter, and swirl the pan over the heat for a couple of minutes, then add the cream and whisk to a smooth caramel. Remove from the heat.
- Sieve the caramel into a jug.
The caramel can be made 1 day ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving (or warm gently in a pan).
To Serve: Cut the cake into 10-12 pieces. Top with the chopped caramelised pecans and caramel sauce and serve with the roasted pears.