Pear and ginger cake – and Zoom ‘Taskmaster’

Although the announcement of the successful development of COVID-19 vaccines has brought hope that there may be an end in sight, we have some way to go. I think we will be meeting our family and friends virtually for some time at least.

Mr McGregor and I have recently (rather belatedly) started watching the British game show ‘Taskmaster’, which is highly entertaining – and our friends have recently adapted this format to entertain us during our Saturday night virtual pub visits. Tasks we have been set have included 1) Producing a self portrait in the style of a recognisable artist and 2) Making a potato person of your other half, bringing out an admired characteristic. Thankfully, we have had at least a couple of hours of preparation time……..

Here is my lino cut self portrait (in the style of Eric Ravilious’ ‘Swimmer’)

And my potato model of Mr McGregor with his spade in his garden, looking for all the world like a painter rather than a gardener..

Here’s a recipe for Pear and Ginger cake:

5 small pears, peeled and cored

100g unsalted butter

40g light muscovado sugar

100g black treacle

125ml milk

140g plain flour

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds

1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1 medium egg, beaten

  1. Heat the oven to 150/130 fan/ gas mark 2
  2. Lightly grease and line an 18cm square tin with baking parchment. Arrange the pears cut side down at the bottom.
  3. Melt the butter, sugar and treacle over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the milk and leave to cool a little.
  4. Sift together the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda. Quickly beat these into the melted butter mixture along with the egg.
  5. Turn into the prepared tin .
  6. Bake for around 50mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Cover with a piece of foil or baking parchment if the top browns too quickly.
  7. Leave cake to cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out to fully cool.


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