My pantry

Pear, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Cake

July 28, 2012

I love seeing the look on someone’s face when, as they board a plane, they realise they’re sitting next to me with two kids. It’s priceless. It’s almost worth borrowing a sprog or two if you don’t have any and you’re brave enough to hazard a trip with a pair of ticking time bombs.
My fellow travelers probably feel as though they’re all po’ faced and shit,  but trust me, in that split second I see a multitude of emotions flit across their dial before they plaster a smile that looks like a grimace and they emit a high pitched and squeezed – ‘Hi’.

D Man has flown more in his 2 years than many adults in a lifetime. He was lucky enough to get an invite to Mister H and my honeymoon (sharp intake of breath….baby before marriage? SHOCKING!!) and he jumped about 12 planes on that trip alone. From the Vietnamese heat to the freezing temps of Holland, he just took it in his stride (like his Ma, he was not a great fan of -10C). With family all over the world, he may as well become seasoned early, as we love overseas adventures and the world is easier to get around these days than ever before.
I travelled a lot, also from a baby, so I often wonder if that’s where my love of travel came from?
My parents were great adventurers. Their honeymoon was Madras, India to Naples, Italy, overland, so there’s no doubt we come from stock with itchy feet.

Anyway, I’ve hardly done anything that exciting this trip. I just tied the largest handkerchief I could find to a stick (there is no traveling light with two babes!) and boarded a plane to Melbourne. That’s right, I’m back in the nest, and really enjoying having the support of family around me. Kiki and D Man were absolute poster children on the plane so our neightbour’s terror was unfounded.
I haven’t been doing much cooking, as I’m getting thoroughly spoilt, but I did whip up a little cake for a special birthday boy.
This cake has made an appearance at a few special birthdays – my Grandpa’s 85th, my sister-in-laws 30th, and our dear, old friend, John’s 65th birthday last night. You could say it’s a family fave…….

You don’t need a special occaision though, cos it’s easy to make and easier to eat, and it looks thoroughly glam.

You will need :
200g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
3/4 cup pistachio kernals, plus extra to serve
150g softened butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup plain flour, seived
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Packham pear, cored and coarsely chopped

Chocolate Ganache
150g dark chocolate, chopped
150g pouring cream

Preheat oven to 160C.
Process chocolate and nuts in a food processor until course crumbs form, set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time.
Beat until well combined, then stir in flour and baking powder.
Stir through nut and chocolate mixture, then the pear and pour into a lined 22cm springform cake tin greased and lined with baking paper.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

For ganache, place cream into a saucepan over a medium heat. Add your chocolate and stir until melted.
Smooth over the cake and scatter with pistachios.
I didn’t have extra nuts this time so I garnished with calendula flowers.
Allow 30 minutes for ganache to set and then – nom nom nom.

NB I have never touched a PC before and I’m endeavouring to blog on my mama’s computer as I didn’t have enough hands to bring my Mac. Please excuse dull images, but it’s all too hard!!!
Regular programming will resume next week!

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  • Reply Jet Wiksten July 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

    “I love seeing the look on someone’s face when, as they board a plane, they realise they’re sitting next to me with two kids…in that split second I see a multitude of emotions flit across their dial before they plaster a smile that looks like a grimace and they emit a high pitched and squeezed – ’Hi’.”

    Thank you 🙂 I REALLY needed that laugh!

  • Reply Roar Sweetly July 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    This looks insanely delicious. I am going to make it this weekend.

    I fretted endlessly about other passengers when I travelled with my first child. Now with two kids (under the age of 3) I feel like a contestant on Survivor. I’m so absorbed in the logistics of my own little world that my brood and I could be the only people on the plane for all I know!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      I love that, survivor indeed!!
      I just make sure I have plenty of snacks….. And tend to hold my breath a lot.

  • Reply Mrs H July 30, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Sounds delicious! You’re braver than me – I have a serious travel bug that has been nuked by two long lasting courses of travel anitbiotics 5 and 3 years ago… It doesn’t seem to catch me now I stick to child-centred travel destinations but I’ve decided it’s a cyclical illness that will rise from its current dormancy once it realises the coast is clear of world tours of playparks and petting farms…

  • Reply Time travel | inthislifemrsh August 3, 2012 at 7:26 am

    […] been reading various blogs about amazing families travelling all over the place with kids – Keeping up with the Holsbys was one, Travelladywithbaby another. Reading Ben Fogle’s first list of adventure ideas was […]

  • Reply Carole May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Hi there, today I’m collecting cake recipes. Please drop me a line on [email protected] if you are ok with me linking to your post in my blog (Carole’s Chatter). Cheers

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