Cardamom Cake with Pears and White Chocolate Recipe

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serves: 4

This recipe is take from Yvette Van Boven’s book, Homemade Winter.


  • For the pears:
  • 3 medium-sized crisp, firm pears (such as Bosc), peeled but whole, with the stem left on
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry white wine
  • 1¼ cups (250 g) sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • For the cake
  • :
  • 1½ cups plus 2 tbsp (200 g) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ cups (200 g) self-rising flour
  • 1 generous tbsp ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 oz (90 g) white chocolate, in chunks
  • You will need:
  • 9x5inch (1.5l) loaf pan


  • Poach the pears: In a large saucepan, combine the pears, wine, sugar, cloves, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon and poach for 30 minutes over low heat

  • Take the pears out of the liquid and set aside to cool. Add 2 ½ cups (500 ml) water to the poaching liquid and boil to reduce the liquid by half. Let cool

  • Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C)

  • Using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at the time. Don’t add a new egg until the previous one is incorporated

  • Sift the flour, cardamom, and salt over the batter and fold it in

  • Grease a 9-by-5-inch (1.5 l) loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper

  • Spoon the batter into the pan. Press the pears in, stem end up. Bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean

  • Allow to cool in the pan, then gently remove the cake from the pan to a rack to cool completely

  • Very carefully melt the chocolate: Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir the chocolate in the bowl until melted. Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate over the cake and create nice stripes on top

  • Let the chocolate dry for a bit and serve the cake in thick slices, with the reduced pear syrup poured on top

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(403 ratings)
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