Position an oven rack in the center of the oven.
In a large Dutch oven, combine the water, maple syrup, the
Cut the pears into
With the machine running, add the butter and beat until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until smooth. Pour in the buttermilk and the vanilla and mix on high speed for 1 minute, or until light and fluffy.
Fold in the pears and pour the batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together the dark and golden raisins and sprinkle them evenly over the batter. Using a rubber spatula, softly press the raisins into the batter and smooth the top.
Mix the sanding sugar with the ground cardamom until there are no visible clumps. Sprinkle the cardamom sugar evenly over the batter.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using a
Spread the top of one
Apply another thin layer of crème fraîche to the top of this round, then top with another
Serve each cake garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche and a few rosemary leaves.
These cakes store very well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
© 2010 All rights reserved. Published by Chronicle Books.