With autumn upon us the rhythm of our days are changing once more, we sleep a little later in the morning, warm teas replace cold beers in the evenings and once more I start dreaming of cake. Cake and I have a seasonal love affair… we get along best during the cooler months, warm oven fresh cake served with creamy homemade vanilla yoghurt and sweetened preserved summer fruits (which I’m in the process of preparing now for the cool months ahead).

I’ve been watching a bit of River Cottage lately, having just discovered it’s inspiring awesomeness – it’s like falling in with new friends who somehow seem like old friends. I love watching the combination of farm rearing and veggie growing and kitchen adventures and that is where this little pound cake is inspired from. I don’t know if I’d ever made a pound cake before, but I’ve got to say… we like it! And my guess is you will too. I love the additions of sweet fruit and the little hint of spice that makes this cake something really very special.

Undeniably the best part is you probably have all of the ingredients in your cupboard right now, and it takes less than an hour to have it fresh out of the oven and on your table.

PERFECT PEAR + CARDAMOM POUND CAKE

Ingredients

200g self raising flour
200g eggs
200g butter
200g raw sugar
10-15 Cardamom pods cracked open
2 beautiful australian grown pears

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C

Gently crack open your cardamom pods and remove the lovely black insides. Discard the shells and pop the insides into a mortar and pestle and pound into a fine powder… Add the cardamom powder to the flour and put aside.

Cream butter and sugar in your mixer and once creamed add eggs and beat gently until combined. Add sifted flour and cardamom mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon until combined.

Peel pears and slice the cheeks off the stem of each pear (ensuring you have 4 cheeks of similar size). Cut thin slits in the cheek to help the pear cook through quickly. Pour the prepared batter into a round cake tin and gently place the four cheeks onto the top of the batter

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the oven.

When cooled dust with icing sugar. Enjoy alone, in silence with a good book – or you know, surrounded by friends and grubby kids and yelling and laughing and all the noise. Either way, it’ll still be delicious.

  • March 27, 2015 - 3:40 pm

    becky McIntosh - Oh yum! Saw this on your insta and it looked so good will have to try it. Although anything with equal parts butter, sugar and flour has got to be good ;) ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2015 - 5:24 pm

    bron - yeeees. cooler days call for warm cake from the oven. I am inspired. xReplyCancel

In the past 12 months I’ve been doing a lot of work behind my camera, it’s become a powerful skill that I’ve used to trade with beautiful friends and awesome businesses in our regional area. I’m working with two amazing local wellness businesses at the moment to create gorgeous images for their new websites. I’m really lucky to have had the opportunity to trade photography for products I have needed, for fresh food, for first aid training, for laughter, hugs and good times.

 

If you live in the South West (or in Perth) and you would like to have some photos taken of you, your kid, your furry friend or your business… you can email me at sash@inkedincolour.com – I’m big on alternative economies so I’d much rather trade in skills or services than charge you in dollars and cents – with a little creative thought we can almost always come up with a fair trade that works really well for all of us.

Email me and let’s see if we can’t make a little magic happen.

  • March 23, 2015 - 8:01 am

    Marcia - hi Sash, how awesome that you have such a fabulous skill to trade with, I do believe you are about to get really busy ReplyCancel

Is your home a soft plastic magnet? It doesn’t seem to matter how conscious I am about not using too much plastic, I find that it seems to weasel its way into our lives one way or another. Whether it be the plastic bag that the wet clothes come home from daycare in, or the plastic my bulk pantry purchases come in (even when I request paper, it’s not always possible and there are always compromises). We live in a regional town and some things we ‘need’ (let’s all be very real about needs in our western world and remember that most of the time they are truly just ‘wants’) we have to get shipped in from the city… and more often than not, it comes in plastic. It was last year some time that I was really made aware of how little of the soft plastics that we accumulate in our every day lives are actually recyclable. Over the course of last year I collected a fair amount of our accumulated soft plastic so that I could get an idea of how much our household actually creates for landfill. Whilst I try to use plastic bags that were often accidentally accumulated over and over again… it still didn’t make me feel good that at the end of it’s life, it was destined for nowhere other than landfill.

I’ve got friends doing plastic free months, and trying to create waste free households and it’s challenging. We’ve tried a few times and I found it frustrating how little of the pantry foods we buy couldn’t be bought unless wrapped in plastic. Community and eco-minded folks locally are working their butts off to create wholefood co-ops where locals can buy in bulk and we can choose our packaging (for the most part) but even there there is still *some* soft plastic involved. Even my Community Supported Agriculture food box, the veg comes wrapped in (only) only large plastic bag inside the reusable cooler box. I’ve got a friend weaving a rug out of plastic bags and others who carry jars with them everywhere like we do. It takes a lot of commitment in our plastic world to push back on the extreme plastic use (and more so misuse) that goes on around us every day.

I understand convenience. I understand being busy. I understand being stretched and pushed and pulled in every which way and I understand that

none of us can do it ALL. Yes. Sometimes you just have to buy that cheese wrapped in plastic because the local deli doesn’t sell it any other way. Sometimes it’s cheaper for me to buy prepackaged organic produce even if I don’t like to do it. Sometimes it’s just easier.

And I’d feel better about that. IF the plastic was at least destined to be recycled. Instead I walk along the beaches that circle our hometown and I see little bits of plastic… plastic that will never degrade. Plastic that is here to stay… and it’s disheartening. Are we destroying our world for the sake of convenience?

Then… I head about Red Group. Australian based recyclers who are turning soft plastic into awesome useful things.

In the world of Red Group takes the equivalent of 12,500 plastic bags and pieces of soft plastic packaging to make a park bench That’s 12,500 pieces of plastic that will never end up in landfill, on our beaches or in our waterways… You can check out the wesome things that the RED Group does by checking out their website or their facebook page.

This is not a sponsored post. I seriously dislike soft plastic. A friend of mine put me onto this six months ago and whilst I’ve never been a huge plastic user, I make conscious choices as often as I can to avoid bringing soft plastic into our home… and when we do… we make sure we recycle it appropriately… even if that means taking it to the city with us when we are on our way to visiting family and friends.

You can find out where your local Red Group recycling drop off point is here. With awesome recycling initiatives like this, there is really no

 

excuse for single use.

Reduce. Resuse. Recycle.

x

 

  • March 14, 2015 - 10:15 am

    Grace - I too try to limit the amount of plastic coming into our household. Im so glad that Redgroup has their specialty recycle bins at certain Coles shops. My recycling fanatic toddler actually discovered the bins 6 months back & is thrilled when we take our “special” recycling in once a week. Its amazing what they make out of plastic that would otherwise end up in landfill. Have you heard about “Terracycle”? Its a upcycling/recycling company that takes in things like old toothbrushes, thongs & even cigarette butts to turn them into inventive things that are actually practical. So inspiring!

    GraceReplyCancel

  • March 15, 2015 - 12:41 am

    Life With The Crew - I try to use as little plastic as possible and sometimes it means just saying “no” to something that you want. But yes, when the rest of the world thinks plastic is okay, it is near impossible to eliminate it. Luckily we have several good recycling options in place in our community. And we have dogs that need walked every day, so we use plastic bags to pick up their poop.ReplyCancel

  • March 15, 2015 - 8:11 am

    Cat - this is awesome! I too was shocked by how much plastic couldn’t be put in the regular recycle bins but never got around to researching alternatives. Thanks for reading my mind!!ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 3:19 am

    Kate - This is awesome! Thank you so much for putting me onto this .I’ve been concerned for a long time that the majority of my rubbish is soft plastic but that it’s so hard to avoid and yet I can’t recycle it here. Well now I can!!ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 5:24 pm

    ALittaM - Can you recycle soft plastic in your country? Here plastic recycling is limited only to PET bottles and it kills me to throw soft plastic in the bin.ReplyCancel