Makes one cake, 9 inch in diameter
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅔ cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 large Bosc pear, peeled, cored and diced
1 additional Bosc pear
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional
Whipped cream, optional
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter and flour a 9 inch spring-form cake pan. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder together. Set aside.
5. Cream the softened butter with an electric hand beater until it is light and creamy. Beat in the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy. Set aside.
6. Add the molasses and grated ginger to the brown sugar mixture, beating to combine. Add the baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture, combine.
7. Beat in eggs.
8. Stir in the diced pear.
9. Pour batter into prepared pan bake for 30 minutes, until the cake begins to firm up around the edges.
10 Meanwhile, peel, quarter and slice the second pear into thin slices.
11. After the initial 30 minutes of baking, remove the cake from the oven and gently place the pear slices in a starburst pattern.
12. Tent with tin foil and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.
13. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream.