Monday, August 6, 2012

Pear Spice Cake

Hi everyone.  Hope you had a great weekend. My weekend was busy, but lots of fun for the most part.  I started off Saturday morning at the tax agent getting my annual tax return done.  This obviously was not my favourite thing, but it had to be done, and nothing like getting it out of the way bright and early. 

On Saturday afternoon, Tim and I went for lunch to China Red in inner city Melbourne.  The fun part about this place is that diners order using touch screens mounted on the wall near their table.  The only catch is that once you have ordered, you can't change your mind.  I ordered the pork in plum sauce, which was just devine - it was rich, fruity and spicy without being hot.  Tim ordered a sizzling beef, which was slightly hotter because of the presence of chillis.  I washed my excellent meal down with a red lemonade - gotta love a place that serves red lemonade.

After that, we went on to a matinee session of Eat Pray Laugh, Dame Edna's farewell touring show.  It opened with Sir Les Patterson spluttering all over the audience as he unveiled his new career as a celebrity cook, ably assisted by his "condiments", Basil, Saffron, Rosemary and Dukkah.  Someone in the dress circle became unwell during Sir Les' performance, and we had a brief unscheduled interval while they were attended to.  We then met Sir Les' brother, Gerard, a priest, for the first time.  Gerard wears an ankle bracelet, so you know that Gerard has been a bad priest.  Gerard held a seance to conjure up the resident ghost of Glen Iris (a Melbourne suburb), Sandy Stone.  We learn that Sandy's ashes were scattered on Eric Raven Reserve in Glen Iris by his wife Beryl, who now languishes in a retirement home.  Sandy gave a haunting rendition of My Blue Heaven, in honour of his long lost daughter, June, accompanied by an empty tricycle moving eerily by itself.  Only at the end of Sandy's stint did his well worn armchair and lamp, encased in dust covers, descend from the ceiling.  Sandy strapped himself into the armchair with a seatbelt and rose up into the heavens. 

After interval, Dame Edna herself appeared in fine form on an elephant, clad in a sparkling turquoise sari, shapely pins visible beneath her split skirt.  Her wit was as razor sharp as ever, although she seemed to be a little hard of hearing.  Tami from Michigan, Sandy from Ballarat, Noel from Brighton and an unidentified "senior" (a male) joined Edna on stage to discover who they were in a past life (you'd be surprised!).  Little seven year old Alana was also the subject of "special" attention from Edna and joined her briefly on stage. Of course, an Edna performance would not be complete without the waving of the gladioli, which was duly done after a spectacular quick change on stage by Edna into a bright red and purple dress.  The show finished with a stirring recording of Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye as the background to a parade of Barry Humphries' colourful creations on screen (none of whom I recognised apart from the aforesaid).  At the very end, Barry himself, resplendent in a black velvet smoking jacket, complete with frogging, came out to give us a bow.

On Sunday, Tim and I went to a preview screening of The Sapphires movie, very loosely based on the story of an all female Aboriginal singing group  who go to entertain the US troops in Vietnam during the war.   It is a very funny film, despite its serious backdrop, and features some terrific '60s music.  Chris O'Dowd (remember Roy from The IT Crowd?) is brilliant in this - so casually hilarious, and I understand that he was given some liberty with his lines so that his humour could shine through.  I'm a fan and hope that his career continues to soar. A bonus for us is that we got a free Connoisseur icecream  at the screening (mine was caramel honey macadamia).

Still with me?  Oh right then, the cake.  This pear spice cake recipe came from Martha Stewart via Sophistimom, and you can find the recipe here.  I didn't frost my cake, as I made it in a decorative  rose bundt tin which needed no adornment.  The cake was lovely and moist and sweet from the pear sauce, making the frosting unnecessary:

I loved this cake, which had perfect warm spicy undertones for winter, and it went pretty quickly at work.  It's also easy to make, so if you fancy a bit of cake with your afternoon tea, you won't go wrong with this cake.

Enjoy your week.