So this week has been super busy. We are exhausted but it has been a lovely week too. On Tuesday it was my granny’s 99th birthday. On Wednesday it was my father’s birthday, on Saturday we had a barbeque which as I was working I was about an hour and a half late, which meant that D had to do all the prep and shopping (with my post it notes and lists left all over the kitchen for him of course) and on Sunday we had granny’s birthday lunch. Seriously the woman is amazing! She still lives alone, does her own shopping, helps out in a charity shop and does all her own cooking and cleaning and is better at using the computer and mobile phone than I am. She is going to outlive us all we believe!
With the weekend that was in it, I woke up on Sunday morning with an awful hangover! We had brought back a bottle of Cytrynowka from Poland and of course we drank it all plus the reserve that we had in the freezer, so our heads were banging the next day. I should have made the cake the day before but silly me I hadn’t the time. I also hadn’t done the shopping and with a couple of cups of coffee in me, I trundled off to the shops in search of pears. Lucky me, the one shop that was open actually had them and they were ripe!
Last week I had gotten a few books out of the library and I am so glad I did. The cake for granny’s birthday was in one of the books and is one of the nicest cakes I have made in a long time. It was so light and fluffy and had some character and flavour in it. I have borrowed the recipe from ‘Delia’s Cakes’ by Delia Smith. I am so glad I found this recipe. I would usually make a pear and almond tart for a special occasion but this has now become my new favourite as it was really quick and easy to make. I got up this morning to retest the cake to make sure it wasn’t by accident that it worked and judging by the reaction at work, it wasn’t a fluke. The cake was devoured today too!
The one thing I would say is that when I made it, I freaked out as the cake mix looked tiny in the tin so I doubled the cake batter mix to make it more of a sponge cake and bigger and to feed more people but this morning I followed it exactly to Delia’s specifications and popped it in a slightly smaller tin and it worked perfectly. If you do double the batter mix, just add an extra ten minutes to the cooking time. For those of you who can’t have traditional flour, I also made this with gluten free flour and it came out practically the same. So without delay…
DELIA’S PEAR AND ALMOND CAKE WITH STREUSEL TOPPING
For the cake:
- 110 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 25 g spreadable butter (I actually used and olive spread)
- 50 g golden caster sugar
- 50 f ground almonds
- 1 large egg
- a few drops of almond extract and
- a few drops of vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 large ripe pears, cored, quartered, and each quarter sliced into three
For the topping:
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 75 g self-raising flour
- 50 g demerara sugar
- 50 g flaked almonds
icing sugar to dust and serve
Preheat your oven to 180 °c (fan oven). Line the base and sides of an 18cm loose bottomed tin with baking paper.
All you really need to do is to sift your flour and baking powder into a medium bowl, lift your sieve to give the flour more air. Throw in all your other cake mix ingredients and with an electric whisk, mix until creamy.
Spoon the mix into the tin and layer in a neat circle the pears on top.
To make the streusel topping, mix the flour, suagr and melted butter in a bowl (with a fork) until it looks like a light crumble, add in the flaked almonds and scatter over your cake mix.
Pop it into the oven for 30-35 minutes. After 30, check it with a skewer and if it comes out clean then it is done. Once out of the oven, leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes and then cool further out of the tin. Dust with icing sugar. Note: if you are blowing out candles don’t dust, as the icing sugar hilariously went everywhere. lesson learnt. Anyway here it is…