I made some Peanut Buddy Bars midweek, but have blogged about them already; still as good as ever, especially made with plain chocolate!
If I've got time to prepare something more than a fruit crumble, this Pear and Almond Cake is one of my favorite desserts, and also one of the few fresh fruit desserts my son will eat. It's also a great way of using up those supermarket pears which stubbornly refuse to ripen, before they change, almost instantly, from hard to rotten!
I first saw this Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe in the Guardian a couple of years ago, but it's since been published, with slight variations, on the C4 food site. I carried on with the original version, as I'm not a great fan of wholemeal flour. If I'm treating us to a 'proper' dessert, then I'm not bothered about making it slightly healthier - if I want healthy I'll stick to fruit and yogurt!
This is a fairly simple recipe; the only point which might trip you up is cooking the pears. To get the best result, I think you need to do it at a fairly high heat, so that most of the juices evaporate, leaving a sticky caramel clinging to the pieces of pear. If you end up with a large volume of juice, either reduce it separately, or don't do what the C4 recipe suggests, which is pouring it on top of the cake - too much liquid may affect the baking time. I thought about scattering some chocolate chips over the sufrace, but resisted this time!
You can see from the photo that the almond sponge rises up around the pears, half submerging them and keeping them moist. The texture of the almond cake is dense but soft and moist. This is great eaten warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or creme fraiche.