Sunday, 15 March 2009

Sunday lunch out today with work colleagues, everybody contributing a dish. I made the sponge, and there was enough left over for us to have for supper. A simple supper because of the large lunch: grilled sausages, broccoli, and;

Celeriac and potato mash

Peel and cut up roughly equal amounts of celeriac and potato. Cook in salted water for about 20 minutes. Drain and mash with olive oil.

Pear and almond sponge

150g/5½oz butter
150g/5½oz unrefined golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
75g/3oz plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
100g/3½oz ground almonds
poached pears

Set the oven at 180C/355F/Gas 4. Line the base of a square 20cm cake tin, about 6cm deep, with a piece of baking parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Whilst this is happening, peel and quarter the pears. I used Conference pears and poached them until just cooked in a little water, sugar and lemon juice.
Break the eggs, beat them lightly with a fork, then add them bit by bit to the butter and sugar. Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold them gently into the mixture. Fold in the ground almonds. 
Scrape the mixture into the lined cake tin. Place the poached pears on the cake mixture. Sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for 30-35 minutes, then test for doneness with a skewer. If it comes out clean, without any wet cake mixture sticking to it, then the cake is ready. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for fifteen minutes before turning out.
 The original recipe came from the internet and was for a plum and almond sponge. This was also delicious, but unfortunately I've forgotten where I got the recipe, so can't acknowledge it.

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