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This cake is adapted from Aunty Di’s recipe and I made it for Uncle Alan. Except Di isn’t my Aunty and Alan isn’t my Uncle.  But this is what we do when we develop a deep affection for people isn’t it?

Diane is in fact Aunty Meg’s mum. Megan is of course not my Aunt but my besty in Australia but, owing to the fact that I now have children, she’s referred to as Aunty Megs. Both Megs and Di are Domestic Goddi. Megs served a version of this cake for us in Australia with ice-cream AND cream and it was divine.  I’ve made a few tweaks (namely the ground almonds, flaked almonds and lemon juice but only so as not to completely copy). This cake deepened my affection for Diane, now known as Aunty Di.

But back to Alan. We are in the process of doing up a house and Alan is my builder. I love Alan. Not in a sexual way, but in a Dad/Uncley kind of way. Alan is of a Dad-ish age, has a kind face and solves problems. His main concern seems to be saving me money and he never ever patronises me even when I most deserve it (like this week when my eyes went funny with disinterest over the steel joist and I let the sex down by asking when I could start testing paint colours on the walls).

To make matters worse, I’ve just baked him a heart-shaped cake.  Giving it to him yesterday was mortifying and the exchange went something like this;

Siobhann gets out of car, Alan leans forward to move an object out of Siobhann’s way. Siobhann misinterprets the gesture:

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  • S: “Oh, were you about to kiss me on the cheek?”
  • A: “er, no” >laughs nervously<
  • S: “Oh god sorry. Um, I baked you a cake” >laughs nervously< (rummages around on front seat)
  • S: (presenting heart-shaped shaped cake). “Oh, sorry. It’s a heart. It was the only tin that worked. Don’t get the wrong idea…” >laughs uproariously at an unnecessarily high pitch<
  • A: >laughs nervously and starts retreating to the safety of a pile of rubble< “Shall we discuss the latest on the steel…?”

I went back to the house today. Alan wasn’t there. The cake only has two slices out of it. I think it’s because he’s been busy with the steel thing.

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Ingredients:

  • 185g Butter
  • 410g tin of pears (or apple or any other tinned fruit for that matter. And in fact very ripe pears would work for this)
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar (I used soft brown as it was all I had in and it was lovely)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • Pinch salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon.

Method:

  1. Drain pears into a sieve and drain thoroughly whilst you squeeze the juice of a lemon into a bowl. Pop the drained fruit into the bowl of lemon juice.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together and add the eggs one and a time, beating thoroughly in between.
  3. Add sifted self raising flour and almond flour. Combine with a spoon without overworking.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and the lemon juice from the pears
  5. Scrape the mixture into a cake tin, push the fruit into the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle flaked almonds on top.
  7. Bake in a moderate oven for about 25minutes. In my oven (which overcooks EVERYTHING), I baked it for 20mins and it was slightly underdone at the bottom. The skewer came out clean but it was the mixture underneath the pears that wasn’t quite done so watch out for that.