This is a really light and moist cake which would be great with a blob of crème fraîche to serve with coffee. The pears could be swapped for any glazed or candied fruit that you fancy using or maybe even plain and served with some fruit compote. I spilt the batter in half and made two 6" cakes instead of one 8" one.
The pears are these pretty ones from Provence - I haven't seen them before but if you can't find them you can follow tutorials like this and make your own.
150g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
75g ground almonds
75g self raising flour
2 candied pears, cored and sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease and line an 8" cake tin
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (I do mine for 4 mins in my standing mixer)
3. Mix in the eggs one at a time
4. Fold in the almonds and then the flour
5. Spread evenly in the cake tin and arrange the pear slices on top
6. Bake for 30 mins or until an inserted cake tester or skewer comes out clean
Adapted from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe.