Pear and Chocolate cake and Autumn Friends


When we were growing up, (I often refer to I as we, because in those days, me and my best friend did a lot of collective thinking, which you can read now), we always believed that – People come in your life either for a reason, for a season or for a lifetime. We even sat down and classified the people in our lives in those three categories. Of course, some people who we thought were in for a lifetime, went out of season as the monsoon came to an end and some came in for really fucked up reasons, which we found later on. But back then we were very happy with our generalization. Albeit, very specific one.

I was sure mom and dad were in it for a lifetime and thankfully for us, we came from a generation, where they really do. Together in it. For a lifetime and beyond. Of course they had their fights and the really bad days, when you are asked to pick sides. “Who do you want to stay with if we go our separate ways?” Me and my brother would as-a-matter-of-fact say that we want to live in this house. So we will stay with whoever stays here. Materialistic? hell no. We knew in our hearts that this is just a conversation and it wont come to that. Ever. And so we played along, and rather than choosing sides, we chose something which cannot be asked to choose a side. That’s being animatedly inanimate.

But, then there was a fine line between reason and season. And many a times some people could be classified into both categories at the same time. Like a friend who openly proclaimed that relationships come with a shelf life. And perhaps she also wanted to look like the cool one amongst us dorks. So there was a season when she technically paraded as our dear friend, but it was as well for a reason. I knew in my heart that this one wouldn’t last a long time, and boy, I was right.

The same thing goes with the guys who came in life. It might be just a crush, a random date or even a boyfriend. I though everyone is in for a long haul, but I was fool-hardy. And näive. But also glad.

Mostly the reason and season ones left a dent in the heart, a crack in the brain or at the least shattered a well-believed belief. No but wait, that was the primary reason we came up with this theory. So that there wont be anymore heartaches and tear stings. So classifying folks from the beginning meant that we dint really give a shit about they stayed or left, and if they were there, then for no matter how long. Because they were already supposed to leave and any staying on was a bonus.

But these were also the ones who taught me the most. Or held my hand in a difficult situation and led me through. Like one dear colleague, who helped me a lot during the most intense career examination of my life, and then disappeared. Or was kicked out. No way to find out if he was playing the reason season game or if I was. So its a little tricky, my friend. In somebody else’s mind (I think they must be atleast a dozen) I am the leaver. The girl who was there for a nice little spring to get help to pick a few apples. And then gone.

I thought about all of this again now, because after a really long time I made a new friend. A girl, who thinks a lot like I do, and shares the same love for rebellious characters. Now once again, I think (hope) it is for a lifetime. Or at-least for some solid reason. Or may be a few seasons? Who knows. I will have to wait and find out.


Pear and Chocolate Cake

On a sweeter note, baked pears are beautiful. They are soft, warm and fuzzy. And put into an intensely chocolate cake held together by a simple tart at the base. It’s a flavor ride in each bite.

Pear chocolate cake

Recipe adapted from a non-descript book titled simply – ‘Food Lovers Chocolate Book’. That leads me to believe good things in life come without a band-baaja.

chocolate cake with base

Makes a 9 inch cake to feed 4-10 people. Depends on how much you eat. really.

What you will need:

For the base:

  • 60 gm butter, cold and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 140 gm all purpose flour
  • 50 gm castor sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

For the filling:

  • 3 ripe pears
  • 1 egg
  • 75 gm butter
  • 75 gm brown sugar
  • 20 gm ground almonds
  • 75 gm flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 25 gm dark cocoa powder
  • 50 ml milk

What to do :

  1. Combine all the base ingredients together, quickly knead into a dough, wrap in sarine wrap or a damp towel and refrigerate for atleast half an hour.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC. Grease and line a 9 inch springform pan for easy unmolding of the cake.
  3. Roll out the dough to a circle on a lightly floured surface and line the base of the prepared pan.
  4. For the filling, peel the pears, halve lengthways and remove the cores.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together till pale. Beat in the egg.
  6. Stir in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder and milk. Stir well till incorporated.
  7. Spread this on top of the dough in the springform pan. Arrange the pear halves on top, pressing them in so that they touch the base.
  8. Bake in the middle shelf for about 30 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Take it out and let it cool in the pan for a few minutes before unmolding. let it cool completely before cutting.
  10. Drizzle with some powdered sugar. optional.
  11. Now take a spoon and dig in.

Slice of chocolate and pear

Notes :

  1. It is easy to overbake this cake, so be careful. It’s intensely dark color makes it difficult to gauge if it is baked through. So skewer method is important.
  2. Depending on your preference you can use 2 and 1/2 to 3 pears. I used 2 1/2, but you can squeeze in 3, i.e 6 halves.

 

 

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