Sticky Pear Pudding

Serves 6

Sticky TOFFEE  pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 tbsp near-boiling water
  • ½ cup toasted skinned hazelnuts
  • 4 ripe pears
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 115g butter, softened
  • ½ cup golden caster sugar, plus an extra 1tbsp, for baking
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 8 whole cloves, optional
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • Fine strips of orange rind, to decorate

For the orange cream

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • Finely grated rind of ½ orange
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 20cm loose-based sandwich tin. Put the ground coffee in a small bowl and pour the water over. Leave to infuse for 4 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve.
  • Grind the hazelnuts in a coffee grinder until fine. Peel, halve and core the pears. Thinly slice across the pear halves part of the way through. Brush with orange juice.
  • Beat the butter and the ½ cup caster sugar together in a large bowl until very light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour, ground cloves, hazelnuts and coffee. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface.
  • Pat the pears dry on kitchen paper, then arrange in the sponge mixture, flat side down.
  • Lightly press 2 whole cloves into each pear half, if using. Brush the pears with 1 tbsp maple syrup.
  • Sprinkle the pears with the 1 tbsp caster sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until firm and well-risen.
  • While the sponge is cooking, make the orange cream. Whip the cream, icing sugar and orange rind until soft peaks form. Spoon into a serving dish and chill until needed.
  • Allow the sponge to cool for about 10 minutes in the tin, then remove and place on a serving plate. Lightly brush with the remaining maple syrup before decorating with orange rind and serving warm with the orange cream.

Cook’s tip:

If you cant find ready-toasted skinned hazelnuts, prepare your own. Toast under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes, turning frequently until well browned. Rub off the skins and cool before grinding.

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