Sticky Date, Ginger and Pear Cake with Caramel Sauce

Date, Ginger and Pear Pudding

A classic winter dessert that is certainly a crowd pleaser. Here we’ve given it a twist with the addition of pear and rosemary.

200g dates
1 tsp bicarb-soda
1 1/4 cups boiling water
60g butter, chopped
2 eggs
125g brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
150g wholemeal spelt flour
100g almond meal
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ginger
50g crystallised ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 pear, quartered, core removed, sliced (I didn’t bother to peel the pear – it all adds to the texture and rustic presentation)
1 sprig rosemary

Sticky Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
Ice cream or cream, to serve

Method:
Preheat oven to 170c. Grease and line the base a 25cm fluted quiche tin (high sided if you have one). Place on a bed of foil to catch any leaks and place on a tray to make it easier to move in and out of the oven.
Arrange the pear slices and rosemary leaves on the base of the pan in a circular pattern – this will become the top of the cake.
Place the dates, bicarb-soda and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until softened. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Add the chopped butter to the date mixture and stir until melted. Add the eggs, brown sugar and golden syrup and mix to combine. Add the flour, almond meal, baking powder, both gingers and chopped rosemary. Stir until just combined then carefully pour the batter over the pears. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until springy to touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Set aside to cool slightly then remove from the outer tart shell and invert the cake on a serving plate.
Serve warm with sticky caramel sauce and a scoop of ice-cream or a generous helping of thick cream.

Sticky Caramel Sauce

A delicious sauce for the Sticky Date, Ginger and Pear Cake, or to serve drizzled over ice cream.

1 cup castor sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cups pouring cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Murray River Salt Flakes

Method:
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and place over medium heat until the sugar dissolves – swirl the pot from time to time, but avoid stirring.
Once sugar is dissolved, increase the heat a little and bring to the boil. Boil without stirring until the mixture turns a golden caramel colour, approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly and carefully add the cream, vanilla, and salt flakes; whisk until smooth. Pour into a serving jug.

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