To poach the pears
Bring the water and ginger to the boil in a pan. Add the pears, cover and simmer for approx. 5 mins. until just soft, leave to cool in the poaching liquid.
Place the butter in a bowl, mix in the sugar, salt and ginger using the whisk attachment on a hand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until the mixture becomes lighter in colour. Place the chocolate in a thin-sided bowl. Suspend the bowl over a gently simmering bain-marie, ensuring that the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Mix the flour, almonds and baking powder, mix into the egg mixture along with the chocolate. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared tin. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid, drain, make 3 wells in the batter using the back of a wet tablespoon, place the pears in the wells. Wrap the pear stalks in foil to prevent them from burning.
Approx. 45 mins. in the lower half of an oven preheated to 180°C. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a rack.