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I hope you’re not thinking “Not another cake!” because I will never tire of cakes. Plus, I haven’t used sour cream in cakes before, so this is a first for me. As you can see from the recipe, simplest cake ever. I haven’t done this yet, but I’d imagine it’ll be perfect for morning or afternoon tea. If only I could do that everyday!

Sour Cream Apple Cake
Makes 1 medium sized cake

1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/4 SR flour
1 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup roasted almonds (chopped coarsely)
3 apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs (lightly beaten)

1. Sift flours, sugar and cinnamon together. Mix in almonds, apples, milk, sour cream and eggs. Mix until just combined.
2. Line tin with baking paper and pour batter in.
3. Bake for 1 hour.

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This may be considered blasphemy, but my favourite cake is no longer the humble chocolate cake. I use to love love love chocolate mud cake – from Safeway, from the Cheesecake Shop – you name it, I love it and could eat a whole one all at once if my conscience allowed me to. I loved the rich taste of the cocoa and the sweet, sticky icing. This isn’t to say that I no longer like chocolate cake, but I’ve discovered that recently, my tastebuds have *ahem* matured and nowadays, I prefer fruit filled cakes, because I love the natural sweetness that the fruit imparts and also the texture of the broken down fruit that’s been baked for an hour.

This is the reason why I was a little cautious about making a chocolate pear cake. I lke chocolate, and I like pears, but at the time, I just didn’t really feel like eating a chocolate pear cake. However, I haven’t tried making a chocolate pear anything before so I decided to make it anyway, because it sounded like a sophisticated combintation. Do you find that pears have have a tendency to upgrade something really ordinary to something that sounds really fancy – like rocket and walnut salad with caramelised pear, or Roast pork with pear compote? Thinking about those makes me feel hungry.

Well, I sure didn’t regret it! This was super tasty, and I’m thinking of ways how to give it a more prominent pear flavour. If you like chocolate cakes that are still fudgey in the middle, this is for you. I used 2 pears, but the cake didn’t have any pear flavour at all, I think the chocolate overpowered it. I’ll put down the proportions I used, but feel free to play around until you get a good balance of chocolate and pear – let me know what you come up with! I used Packenham pears, because that is my favourite brand (and they were handy) but I’m sure any pear would work. The linseed meal gives a grainy texture, so if you like a smoother texture, substitute the linseed meal with plain flour. My mum also commented that the cake could be a little sweeter, so up the sugar to 1 cup if you are a sweet tooth. Personally, I prefer it not too sweet, and if you are serving this for dessert, the rich cocoa taste would be offset wonderfully with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Chocolate Pear Cake
Makes 1 Cake

1 1/4 cup linseed meal
1/2 cup Sr Flour (I used wholemeal)
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup white sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup EVOO
2 pears (cored and chopped into medium sized peieces)
100g dark chocolate (melted) (I used 50% cocoa, but you can substitute milk chocolate if that is your preference)

1. Preheat oven to moderately high at 170c. Line a 24cm round spring form tin with baking paper.
2. Sift linseed meal, flour, baking powder and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
3. Beat eggs lightly in a separate bowl and pour into flour mixture. Add pears and chocolate and stir until just combined.
4. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 45 minutes. Remember not to over cake it if you want the cake to be moist inside. Cake is cooked when skewer comes out clean.

Hello friends! It has been such a long time since my last post. But lately, I have been doing some weekly baking and I am so excited to share this with you.

I have long been an avid reader of Smitten Kitchen. Some how, Deb is able to make me feel like making whatever she is writing about RIGHT THIS MOMENT, even if it involves Banana bread crepe butterscotch pancakes 8am in the morning. 

A recipe that caught my eye was her recipe for Apple Sharlotka, which is a Russian apple cake. Don’t be intimidated by the Russian heritage – there is nothing foreign about the process. It was unbelievably simple and delicious. Dare I add healthy to the list, as it doesn’t contain any butter? 

You may notice that the top of her cake is all knobbly with apples, while mine is quite smooth. This effect will depend on whether you pat the batter down into the tin. As you can see, I forgot, but luckily, no harm done.

Here is her recipe.

Apologies for the teeny picture – it was taken with my HTC Explorer. I should have believed the reviewer when they said that the quality of the photos is not as good as other smart phones. Galaxy S III here I come!

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