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Pear, fig & ginger upside-down cake with ginger syrup

Pear, fig & ginger upside-down cake with ginger syrup

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This is a moist, light cake and the semolina adds a little crumble.

  • 60g light brown sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 pears, peeled and core removed, cut into thin slices
  • 4 large figs, quartered
  • 225g butter
  • 1 ¼ cups caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour, sifted
  • ½ cup semolina
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Ginger syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger



Preheat oven to 170°C fan forced. Brush a round 20cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and side with non-stick baking paper. Tightly wrap the bottom of the pan with foil.

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the base of the pan. Melt 50g butter and maple syrup together in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking to combine. Pour into the cake pan. Arrange the pears in a circular pattern in the sugar mixture. Arrange the figs, cut-side down, in a circular pattern on top of the pears.

Beat the remaining butter with the caster sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in fresh ginger, buttermilk and lemon zest.

Stir dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add to the batter, mixing just to combine. Pour over the fruit and smooth with a spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, water and ginger in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until syrup is golden and thickens slightly. Set aside to cool slightly.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with ginger syrup and fresh figs.