10 Aug 2014

the weekend cake

Since starting the new semester, I have been quite busy keeping up with the never ending list of things to do. Things keep amassing by themselves - emails to send, papers to write, research to do. This course I signed up for around this time last year, was far from what I expected. It's been challenging, but also very rewarding (most times), especially where I am placed for my rounds this semester. Halfway through my first round, I became kind of discouraged, but by chance, I was able to visit many of my secondary teachers for two days last week who gave me unconditional support and encouragement. Standing from a different perspective, my philosophy has changed from what it initially was. It's definitely something I want to work on improving.

The patience, dedication and time I received from one particular teacher is what keeps me going. I didn't tell him that, but I thanked him for the invaluable advice he's given me once again. "It's easy for someone to sit at the back and criticise, but doing your best is what makes the difference."

In case you were wondering, the cake has nothing to do with my reflection. It was something I whipped up late yesterday afternoon and it's too good not to share. Originally it was meant to be an apple cake, but after I discovered it was rotten inside, I crossed my fingers and switched to using pears. The cake is moist and spicy with the pear pieces giving it extra sweetness and textural crunch. It's only been less than a day and it's almost gone! Luckily it doesn't take long to make. Hopefully with apples next time.

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spiced pear cake     makes 1 x 17.5cm square
adapted from the 350 degree oven

2 packham pears, chopped in small pieces
200g raw sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp ground cinnamon, sifted*
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, sifted
1/2 tsp mixed spice, sifted
2 large eggs
65ml cooking oil
150g plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted

Mix pear pieces with sugar, lemon juice and spices. Combine eggs and oil in another bowl and set aside.

Make a small well in the sifted flour and powders and add the egg and oil mix. Fold in to combine. When flour is mostly incorporated, add the pears and fold in thoroughly.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees celcius for 30-35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted.

*The cinnamon taste is quite strong on the first day, but mellows on the second. You may want to reduce the amount if you don't like it so strong.