Saffron Vanilla Cake

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Preheat the oven to 180 C (or 350 degrees F). Butter two 9-inch-round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper; butter the parchment and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess. Whisk 3 cups flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl until combined. Beat 2 sticks butter and the Saffron and the sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light, golden and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium; beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. (The mixture may look separated at this point.) Beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with flour, until just smooth. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes are lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.Transfer to racks and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment. Trim the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level, if desired.

Pears Poached in Saffron Syrup

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Darina Allen’s recipe for pears poached in saffron syrup is beautifully fragrant, fresh and light. Even better, it’s quick and easy to make! Great with ice cream.