Sponge cake

Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs, sift in flour and fold in.

Bake in two round, lined 18cm cake tins at 160C for 25 mins, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Cool, and assemble with your filling of choice.

Pear and chocolate cake

Fry the pears in 25g butter with 1 tbsp sugar for 5-10 mins.

Cream the rest of the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Sift in flour and add the ground almonds. Put cake mix into a lined, 20cm springform cake tin. Arrange pear slices on top. Bake at 170C for 45 mins.