Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life's a Beach With Donna Hay

Well dear reader, not sure if this is a coastal blog becoming a cooking blog, but today I'm doing a bit of both.  No really it will always be coastal, but it's Winter and I did say I am getting my cooking mojo back, so I am continuing my odyssey with seasonal fruit and today it's upside down chocolate pear cake, from my absolute favourite Donna Hay.

But first to the coast.  We started out at the athletics carnival this morning.  Let me tell you the Beach House Brat is no budding Olympian, so after he had run his races I gave him the option of sitting in the stands all day or cutting school for a swim and a beach picnic.  No prizes for guessing his choice.  He was very cute before his race.  He has never run competitively before and he asked me 'Is it hard to stay in the lanes?'  I just adore his innocence.  He managed to run in a straight line, which I think was all he was really worried about!!!!!  So afterwards we made a bee line home for the beach bag and hit the water.

Two weeks left of Winter here, but the weather has shades of Spring about it and this kiddo never seems to care what the water temps are, so he suited up and splashed around.  Whilst I was snapping him, I caught this guy on a stand up paddle board.  This is kiddies corner at Palm Beach, so it was nice and flat and very manageable.

I don't know about you, but I always find it stressful trying to wrangle two kiddos at the beach, so I love it when it's flat.

And now to the culinary section of this post.  We are entertaining tonight and this cake is on the desert menu.  But I just had to try it before it was served up.  While the kiddos were playing nerf gun wars on the back deck, I snuck out the front, with grandma's Royal Albert China and a piece of cake.

The texture of this cake is lovely and is best served warm with a dollop of ice cream on the side.

I am loving the photographic aspects of blogging and love to mix up my shots with vintage kitchenalia I have thrifted over the years.

This little ice cream scoop is reminiscent of one my grandmother had.

So surrounding myself with beautiful china, vintage scoops, chocolate and a little garden posy for a little respite from the Beach House Brats just completes an otherwise gorgeous Winter day here in Sydney.  Uh oh moment over........the nerf gun war has turned toxic......I better go and sort it out.  On second thoughts, I may just take them back to school!!!! What the dot dot dot was I thinking?

Donna Hay's Upside Down Chocolate Pear Cake

80g/2.75oz butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbspn water
4 small pears, peeled halved and cored
185g/6oz butter
1.5 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups self raising flour.
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350F).  Place the butter, sugar and water in a frying pan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Add the pears to the pan, cut side down, and cook for 2 minutes.
Place the pears, cut side down in a 23cm (9inch) round cake tin that has been side and base lined with non stick baking paper.  Pour over the pan juices and set aside.
To make the cake, place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.  Sift the flour and cocoa over the mixture and stir through.
Spoon the mixture over the pears in the tin.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Happy days everyone

In the interests of making a great entrance, you can check out my great giveaway here

Today I am linked up with


  1. The cake looks beautiful as well as delicious. Thanks for converting the recipe. I appreciate it. Love the charming photos of vintage.

  2. the cake looks and sounds delicious. palm beach looks so lovely today.

  3. the beach and donna hay are two of my most favorite things!!! Thank you for the kind compliment of including me on your blog roll!

  4. A great way to spend the day and come home to such good eating.

  5. Oh my goodness....that looks oh so yummy.
    Thank you for the recipe.

    Wishing you a beautiful pink weekend

  6. Love your photos of the beach brat! :O) The recipe sounds and look wonderful...a real must-try! Happy Pink Saturday to you, Carolyn.

    Marie & Liz

  7. Carolyn~
    Love your post.. but makes me so sad!
    More back surgery.. So NO paddle boarding for me at all this summer!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  8. Gotta try that recipe - thanks for sharing!

  9. The cake and the setting is absolutely beautiful! I love your beach house deck, too. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  10. Yum! Did you save me a slice?

    Thank you for participating in this very special Pink Saturday. I hope your visitors will come over to comment and help us to raise more money for the next Miracle Makeover. The good news is that you can leave a comment each day through the 18th, and each comment earns $1.00. So, please come comment again and again.

  11. Looks like a wonderful day and such a delicious cake! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

  12. Ha, we have nerf gun wars too. Looks like a good time and delicious food. Thanks for linking it up at Home Sweet Home! I made your roasted chicken with the lime in and I got an organic chicken. It was very good!

  13. isn't cooking mojo the best!?
    I used to really like Dona Hay. We had this cute kids party cook book by her and there were so many gorgeous things. Of course they weren't vegan but they all had the potential to be.
    I saw her on a talk show a while ago though and they somehow got onto the topic of vegans and she was rather rude about it. Saying that no vegan would ever be welcome in her house.
    Oh well.. I'll continue to make some of her party recipe's vegan just to spite her. haha :)


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