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 500ml water to the poaching liquid and boil to reduce the liquid by half. Set aside and let cool
Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease 1.5l loaf pan and line it with baking paper and grease the baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy, beat in the eggs one at the time and beat well after each addition.Add the vanilla extract and beat well.
Sift the flour and salt over the batter and fold it in, 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.
Before serving, 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
Recipe reprinted with permission of Hein Stirred
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