Almond, Pear & Brown Butter Cake with Homemade Creme Fraiche

This delectable recipe from head chef Ainsley Thompson at Sherwood Hotel, Queenstown, as printed in the latest Cuisine magazine, pg 154, with a special mention of our flour.

-serves 10


  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5 pears, peeled, halved lengthwise and cored.
  • 300gm butter, diced
  • 100gm Grinder & Grain flour
  • 120gm ground almonds
  • 300gm egg whites
  • 300gm icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180 degreesC. Line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper. Drizzle the base of the tin with the honey, then arrange the pears over the tin, covering the whole base. Put the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Melt then continue to cook, swirling the pan until the solids begin to separate and turn a nutty brown. Pour into a shallow heatproof tray and set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the flour and ground almonds in a bowl. Put the egg whites and icing sugar in a separate bowl and beat on medium-high until the soft peaks form. Fold one-third of the flour mix into the egg whites then repeat twice until all the flour is incorporated, taking care not to knock too much air out of the egg whites. Slowly fold the room temperature brown butter into the batter. Spoon the batter into the cake tin on top of the pears and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes, then inset a metal skewer into the centre of the cake – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready; if it’s still wet, reduce the oven temperature to 160deg and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Serve with creme fraiche.

Homemade creme fraiche


  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup cream


whisk the buttermilk into the cream. Transfer to a jar or ceramic bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or cloth. Place the jar in a warm spot (we put ours on top of the oven) for 24 hours. Check the texture of the creme fraiche – if it’s thick enough to be spoonable, cover with a lid and transfer to the fridge until chilled. If not, leave it for another night then check again.