About this recipe:Local chef Barny Haughton has donated to TREE AID a wonderful, festive tree cake. Barny believes: "TREE AID's Christmas Cake Bake is a great chance for people to get togther to bake and eat beautiful cakes; whilst also knowing that they are supporting Arica's poorest people to fight poverty and environmental degraduation sustainably."
Preheat the oven to 165°C or Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 28cm/ 11” diameter spring form tin.
Take a sharp knife and core and chop the pears. Put 25g (1oz) of butter and one tablespoon of dark brown sugar into a large pan over a high heat until the sugar dissolves.
Add the chopped pear into the pan and toss over a high heat until they are coated and browned. Take care not to let them burn.
Put 150g (5oz) of butter and the sugar into a large mixing bowl and, with a wooden spoon, cream together.
Take another large bowl and the eggs. Separate the whites into this bowl and add the yolks into the creamed butter and sugar mixture, one yolk at a time and mix in until smooth. Stir into this mixture the plain flour, baking powder, mixed spice and then fold in with the caramelised pears.
Take a whisk and beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into the mixture. Pour into the greased and lined spring form tin and bake for about 30 minutes or until firm to the touch.
While the cake is baking, roast the pecans in the oven with the cake for 6-8 minutes and chop when cooled. Place 50g (2oz) butter, 100g (4oz) dark brown sugar, the cream and maple syrup into a saucepan and heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is rich and smooth, then add the pecans.
Remove the cake from the oven, while still in the tin, pour over the sauce and leave it to soak in and thicken as the cake cools. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and place on a plate.