Around the world the “tea cake” means different things to different people, it ranges from a yeasted fruit bun, a sweetened soda roll to a large dense cookie. In Australia the tea cake was originally a quick easy cake that took approximately 30 minutes to make and utilised basic ingredients that were readily available from the pantry. The name tea cake came from the beverage that it was commonly served with – tea.
Over time the tea cake has evolved and often contains a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and nuts. One thing that hasn’t changed is that the tea cake doesn’t have any fillings or icing and is usually served either by itself or with a good dollop of cream.
As we are in autumn (in Australia) pears are plentiful and cheap so I have chosen to team them up with chocolate and almonds to produce this delightful tea cake.
So put the kettle on, put your feet up and enjoy this cake as it was intended with your favourite type of tea.
- 150gm (5.5oz) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 150gm (5.5oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 75ml (2.5fl. oz) milk
- 150gm (5.5oz) self-raising flour
- 75gm (2.6oz) plain flour
- 75gm (2.6oz) almond meal
- 1 large pear, peeled, quartered, cored and chopped into approx. 2cm (3/4”) pieces
- 100gm (3.5oz) dark chocolate chips
- 1 extra pear for decoration, peeled, cored, halved and sliced finely
- 30gm (1.1oz) flaked almonds for decoration.
- Preheat oven to 180⁰C (356⁰F). Spray 20cm (8”) cake tin lightly with oil. Line bottom and sides of cake tin with baking paper.
- Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until light and creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
- Add almond extract and milk and mix to combine.
- Fold in both flours and the almond meal.
- Add chocolate chips and chopped pear and mix to fully combine.
- Scrape mixture into prepared cake tin.
- Arrange pear slices in a circle in the centre of the cake.
- Sprinkle almonds around the outside of the pear slices.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Keep an eye on the almonds and if almonds start browning too much cover the cake with a sheet of tin foil.
- Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar before serving.