Saffron & Pear Cake with Ricotta Cream
The subtle yet distinct aroma and sunny hue of saffron makes this cake so special. Chunks of juicy pear add an element of freshness to this luscious and moist cake, which could also be achieved by using berries or stone fruit.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes
For the cake
- 12 threads of saffron
- 200g butter, at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 free-range eggs
- 200g ground almonds
- 50g spelt or all-purpose white flour
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 ripe pears, peeled and cored and cut into 1cm cubes
For the ricotta cream:
- 6 threads of saffron
- 250g / 1 cup ricotta
- 250g / 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp liquid honey
- Zest of ½ a lemon
For the decorations:
- Edible dried or fresh flowers or petals (optional)
Make the magic happen:
- Preheat the oven to 160C fan bake. Line a 22cm tin with baking paper.
- First, in a pestle and mortar gently crush the saffron threads to help release their fragrance. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar you can place the saffron in a resealable bag and use a wooden spoon to crush the threads.
- Next, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and crushed saffron together until pale, light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- In 2 parts, add in the ground almonds, flour and salt. Mix on a slow speed until all of the ingredients are combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Spoon the batter into the tin and spread out to the sides. Dot in the pear cubes and press down lightly.
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, make the ricotta cream. Crush the saffron threads and then combine them with all the other ingredients in a bowl.
- Once the cake is entirely cooled, top it with the ricotta cream and decorate with some flowers or petals if using.
- Serve at room temperature.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.