Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 24cm round cake tin.
Stir 85g butter, ½ cup sugar, vanilla and ginger in a frying pan on medium heat for 1 minute, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until a light caramel colour. Pour into prepared tin, swirling to coat base. Arrange pear wedges over base of tin.
Using an electric mixer, beat remaining butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold into butter mixture alternately with the milk.
Spoon batter over pears in cake tin and smooth surface. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Invert onto a cake stand or plate and slice to serve.
The caramel mixture will set hard in the base of the pan before being baked, then it will soften as the pear and cake cook, giving a deliciously tender, golden result.
From Taste magazine, July 2011.