Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pear & Almond Upside Down Cake

Woolworths have just released a new range of Australian canned fruit - the fruit is picked and packed in Australia to support Australian fruit growers. 

Picked at its prime to ensure optimum freshness and maximum flavour, there are many varieties available including : Apricot Halves, Peach Slices, Pineapple, Apple or Pear slices and Two Fruits.

I chose to use the pear slices on this occasion in a delicious pear and almond cake ( see recipe below). What I really liked about the tinned pear slices is that they were already sliced and they were nice and firm not soggy or mushy like other tinned fruit I have previously tried to cook with. I also really like the fact that this new range do not contain any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and they are available all year round.

Woolworths Select Australian Pear Slices in Juice: 410g - RRP $1.89, 820g - RRP $3.15

This cake is simply divine, it has a lovely spiced flavour thanks to the addition of the cinnamon and nutmeg, it's moist and has a lovely sticky rich pear and brown sugar topping. Oh, and it looks great too :)

Pear & Almond Upside Down Cake


180g brown sugar
230g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tins of Woolworths Select Australian Pear Slices
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour ( I used Macro Organic Flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
80g almond meal
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
Thick cream or Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve ( optional)


Preheat oven to 180°C (not fan-forced) or 160 ( fan-forced)

Grease and line base of a 26cm cake pan with baking paper. Sprinkle brown sugar over base. Melt 90g butter and pour over brown sugar. Top with overlapping pear slices. Place remaining butter and caster sugar in bowl of electric mixer, beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking powder and spices, fold into egg mixture with almond meal. Stir in buttermilk, then mix to form a smooth batter. Carefully spread over pears.

Place pan on a baking tray, cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes ( conventional) or approx 50 minutes using fan-forced oven. Use a cake skewer to check if cake is cooked throughout.

Cover loosely with foil if cake begins to brown too quickly. Remove and cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around sides of pan and carefully invert onto a plate.

Serve with thick cream or ice cream if desired.

To read more about the new Woolworths Select Australian Tinned Fruit initiative click here

The Food Mentalist received samples of Woolworths Select Australian Canned Fruit for this recipe.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Win with Hudsons Coffee's New Barista's Choice Blend

Hudsons Coffee’s newly launched Barista’s Choice Blend has been designed to be a bold cup of coffee with a big, intense flavour.

The second blend on the Hudson's menu allows customers to choose their level of intensity. Having tried the blend at home, Pete and I agree it has a nice level of intensity and richness and will suit avid coffee drinkers who prefer a stronger drop.

Tasting Notes:
A darker roast, the blend is made up of a mix of three specialty Arabica beans
sourced from the high altitudes of Ethiopia and Brazil, combined with the quality Kaapi Royale Robusta bean from India.

The blend is intense in taste with earthy flavours and caramel undertones. The inclusion of the Kaapi Royale Robusta bean, gives the blend its earthy flavour as well as an intense, traditional coffee taste.

The intensity of the blend is designed to cut through milk to give a full-flavoured sensation from first to last sip.

The Barista’s Choice Blend is available by the cup at nearly 70 conveniently located Hudsons Coffee stores around Australia, or in take home form:
50g pre-ground bags, RRP $2.90
1kg whole beans, which can be ground on request, RRP $46.00

Thanks to Hudson's Coffee, The Food Mentalist has 3 Hudson Coffee Packs to giveaway. Winners will each receive the following:

A pre-ground take home bag of the new Barista’s Choice Blend to try for themselves.
A Hudsons Coffee Keep Cup.
A $10 voucher to come in to your local Hudsons Coffee and enjoy a cup of the new blend brewed fresh by the expert Baristas.

To enter simply tell us how you enjoy your coffee. Please leave a valid email address along with your answer so you can be notified if you win.

Entries Close Friday 20 September @ Midnight EST. Entries open to Australian residents only.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cider Sunday - A Week in Review

Check out this week's Cider News below. Please click on the link to view the full story.


Cider rules at Kellybrook - The Weekly Times

By the bottle: Darren Kelly at his winery and cidery. Picture: Andy Rogers
DARREN Kelly fulfilled a boyhood crush, writes CHRIS McLENNAN

Australian Brewery's head brewer to judge at Sydney Royal beer & cider show - Food Magazine

Photo Source: Food Magazine
Neal Cameron, The Australian Brewery’s head brewer will take the position of chief judge for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) 2013 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show.

Cider to make you feel rosy - The Daily Mail

Photo Source: The Daily Mail

See in the new season with a refreshing drop of English apple juice.


Fun with fermentation during cider week - The Seattle TImes

Ciders @ Capital Cider - Photo source - The Seattle Times
Cider is more popular than ever, and Seattle is third in the country in percentage of its drinkers. During Washington Cider Week, restaurants and bars around the city are highlighting the recently hip libation.


Cider/Perry in Bolivia - SBWire

Cider/perry's sales usually pick up during the end-of-year holidays. Cider/perry is a must-have drink among Bolivian households during the Christmas season.

If you have any cider news or announcements you wish to have included in next week's cider sunday - news in review please email Erin at

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cider Sunday - A Week in Review

Here are this week's links for Cider News. Simply click on the link to read the full story.


Cider firm targets energy drinks - The Drinks Business - Online

Photo source: The Drinks Business - Online
As UK cider producers explore new ways to maintain category growth, Cornish cider producer Healey’s is chasing a share of the expanding energy drinks market.

Photo source: Birmingham Online
This summer has proved top of the pips for the Midland’s cider-makers, celebrating the best apple harvest for decades.
Thanks to a bumper crop, 2013 is set to bring the best cider output in the UK for ten years.


Proposal aims to spark more cider - Victor Post - Online

U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, whose 27th Congressional District includes part of Ontario and Monroe counties, announced plans to visit an apple farm Tuesday where he will announce legislation to boost the cider industry.

Apple cider season begins -

Photo source:

Apple cider - it's another sign of summer's end, and it's here. The first batch of cider from Godfrey Run Cider Mill was pressed Thursday morning, and is available by Thursday afternoon for purchase.

Woodchuck Launches New 'Cellar Series' Hard Cider Line - PR Web Online

Photo source - PR Web online

New ciders feature recipes developed through years of handcrafted experimentation. The first to be featured is the Woodchuck Cellar Series Dry Hop.

If you have any cider news or announcements you wish to have included in next week's cider news in review please email Erin at