Maybe it is the way that I cut the pears, being not level enough causing the batter goes under them. Despite this minor imperfection, the cake is actually very nice with a moist syrupy texture and tastes even better on the next day.
Here's the recipe from Donna Hay Magazine, Apr/May 2011 issue.
Upside-down pear & ginger cake
1 cup (350g) golden syrup
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour, sifted
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
125g butter, chopped
5 Williams pears, peeled & cheeks removed
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place the golden syrup, sugar and milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool. Place the flour, baking powder, ginger, mixed spice, nutmeg and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the golden syrup mixture with the motor running and process until smooth. Add the egg and process until combined. Place the pears, cut-side down, into the base of a 20cm x 30cm tin lined with non-tick baking paper. Pour the cake mixture over the pears and bake for 50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out. Cut into slices and serve with double cream, if desired. Serves 8.
Note: I've baked this cake with half of this recipe and use 15cm x 20cm tin.