Upside Down Pear Cake

My first upside down cake, and it was a huge success with the whole family. Totally delicious and super easy to make.
I personally found it a tiny bit too sweet, therefore, I will reduce the amount of caster sugar by less than half even, next time I make this. It is so delicious, that the sweetness of the sugar is not required.
I also ran out of cocoa powder, so mine was not as chocolatey as the recipe.

  • 6 small ripe pears (roughly 600g), peeled, quartered and cored
  • 25 g butter, melted
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • For the sponge

  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 190g salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 100g low-fat natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to Gas 4 / 180 degrees
  2. Bake the pears with the butter and caster sugar in a baking dish for 25 mins.
  3. In the meantime, whisk the ingredients for the sponge.
  4. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line it with nonstick baking paper. Arrange the pears in a circle over the base.
  5. Pour the sponge mixture over the pears and bake for 1 hour.
  6. Remove the tin from the oven and let it cool for 10 mins.
  7. Turn the tin out over a serving plate and serve with cream ( optional ) or vanilla ice cream.


Is it wine O'clock yet?

Today, after driving in snow ( pretty slippery and scary ) and silly arguments with my-not-a-teen-yet son, I cannot help but go to this most yummy cherry glogg I bought back in December.
I was ill for most of this year and I did not want alcohol to decrease my immune system any more as it was already so weak with flu and cold. So today is the first day I give in, I give in to a glass or two of cherry glogg, watching the snow fall in the garden.
My colleagues at work, often talk about their teenage children and I always dread the teenage years of my own children.
What a teacher told me, the other day, was, to remember that I am the grown up here. Love them, put your foot down, stick to my rules,  but love them. They will know that you are there for them, that you are there for anything.
I am sure my son knows it. He knows I will go to the end of the world for him.  Kids- they do not know how much they hurt you.

The Beast from The East

The cold spell, nicknamed The Beast from the East has arrived. Europe is shivering.
Well, it is definitely colder than normal, although there is hardly any snow at my end.
Yesterday, I joined the mad rush at my local supermarket and stocked up on food. The mad rush seems to be about panic buying of milk and bread, now I know why the bread shelves were empty.
Last time it snowed, I got stuck on the M25 and on the countryside roads for over 3 hours, trying to reach home. So I am not taking any chance this time. I am glad I have enough groceries to last me a week, although there is still no snow.
I seriously cannot wake up in the morning. It is getting worse. Is it age or is it the cold and darkness? I was always under the impression that the older you get, the less sleep you need. Most elderly people I know do wake up at 5am everyday. I must be an exception. I am not an elderly yet, but I do not think that I will ever be a 5am, a morning person.
That is why I am hoping, there is no work and no school tomorrow, so that I can stay in bed, looking out at the snow, rather than be in it.
Someone can hope, right?

The children cooked their own breakfast

The children go through this phase sometimes, when they want to cook or help in the kitchen. And I have always said that I will teach them how to cook as it is a life skill.
So this morning, surprisingly, or maybe because I said no to watching tv, they both wanted to cook their own breakfast, something we can never do on weekdays or even Saturdays.
My son made french toasts while my daughter made a tuna omelette. She hates eggs, unless there is tuna in it. I supervised the cooking of course but they did very well too, and we are looking forward to making pancakes next week.


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