Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Romance is in the air...

Pear & Ginger loaf cake...
Yes, it is a day after Valentine's Day but never too late to write about romance of some kind. The frogs in our pond have been enjoying the sunshine and it looks like they are getting romantically involved. Last year we had over 30 of them meeting in our pond, so we are hoping a lot of them will be back again this year. You could hear their frog choir from the upstairs window! And I am sure a lot of baby frogs were the result. :-)

To be honest, I don't like Valentine's Day at all - it is just so commercial and feels as if it just fills the "shopping gap" between Christmas and Easter. Luckily, husband and I feel the same way about it! Should it take a special day in the year to be nice to your loved one?

On the baking front, I have been trying a new recipe - Pear & Ginger Loaf cake. Very nice, although you can't taste the pear that much.

Here is the recipe for the cake which I have since adapted to replace the pear with pineapple chunks - much tastier than the original as the pear didn't come through strongly enough.

  • 200g unsalted butter , plus extra for greasing
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 balls stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped
  • a small tin of pineapple chunks or a cupful of fresh pineapple pieces
  • optional: 1 tsp powdered ginger for extra flavour
  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment, ensuring the parchment comes 2cm above the top of the tin. Beat the butter and sugars together until pale, then gradually stir in the eggs and vanilla extract. Fold the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into the mix, then quickly stir through the stem ginger and pears. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, smooth the surface, then bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin.  
Optional:  Make some icing by combining some pineapple juice with icing sugar and spread over the cake

(original source for the recipe:  BBC Good Food website)

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