Recipe: Cardamom Sponge with Poached Pear and Yogurt Cream

This is a light spongy delight by Mercy Fenton
Recipe: Cardamom Sponge with Poached Pear and Yogurt Cream

"These light cakes are a lovely base to serve with delicious poached pear and a slightly different yogurt cream," writes Mercy Fenton in her weekly column. "The cakes soak up the delicious pear juices. They are even more delicious if you warm the cakes slightly before serving. They can be baked in individual molds or small baking tins. The pears can be prepared in advance, as can the cake and sauce. Put together when needed. A light, spongy delight."

Cardamom Cakes


2 free-range eggs

220gr light brown sugar

½ tsp baking powder

170gr cream flour

75gr melted butter

70gr milk

1 tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp salt


  • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
  • Prepare 6 x 2in individual steel rings, butter the sides of the rings then place each ring on a small square of parchment paper, which is on top of a slightly larger square of foil.
  • Seal the ring by folding up the foil around the ring, creating a mini cake mold. You could also use mini loaf tins.
  • In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and milk.
  • Next, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl and whisk together.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs with the sugar until the mixture is thick and frothy.
  • Fold the flour into the egg mixture.
  • Then stir in the milk and butter.
  • Using a whisk, gently combine all ingredients.
  • Divide the batter amongst the prepared molds. Filling to just over halfway.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.
  • Remove cake pans from cookie sheet and set onto cooling rack.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes before using a small sharp knife to release from the rings.

Poached pears


400ml apple juice or cider

1 tbsp honey or brown sugar

3 or 4 strips of orange peel

1 star anise

½ cinnamon stick

Juice of ½ lemon

4 firm pears, peeled, halved and cored.


  • Put the spices, honey or sugar and zest in a pot that will just fit the pears comfortably.
  • Bring to the boil then take the pot off the heat.
  • Peel the pears and scoop out the core, sit them in a pot so you can cover them in liquid and that they sit standing up.
  • Cover with a disk of parchment paper and a lid.
  • Bring back to the boil slowly, reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the pears are barely tender.
  • Turn off the heat and allow them to cool in the cooking liquor.
  • Once cool, lift the pears out of the liquid, and slice or cut into a fan as you wish.

Yogurt Cream


80gr Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp maple syrup


  • Whisk together, you can add icing sugar to taste if you wish - I didn’t.
  • Serve the cakes topped with poached pears and drizzle with the yogurt cream.
  • Decorate with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a drizzle of extra maple syrup.

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