Frances Moffat’s Chocolate Pear Cake

by Elizabeth Atia -

Shetland has had a very long relationship with the sea. Sometimes things go wrong, and that’s when volunteer crew from the two RNLI stations – one in Lerwick covering the east coast of Shetland, and one in Aith covering the west side of Shetland, come to the rescue.

The RNLI is completely run by donations and crewed by volunteers, and each year both stations host a Gala Day to help raise money.

The annual Aith Lifeboat Gala was last weekend, and the weather was terrible! Despite this, loyal visitors showed up to have a taste of what was on offer – from afternoon teas, to crew auctions, face painting, candy floss, pony rides, to have a browse around the Aith lifeboat, theCharles Lidbury, and to watch a demonstration between crew of the lifeboat and the Shetland Coastguard.

I missed the gala itself this year due to work commitments, but I did pop by before it started to have a wee chat with the volunteers busy with preparations for the afternoon tea in the kitchen. Frances Moffat has been volunteering at the gala for years, and this year she made a chocolate and pear cake for the teas.

This year the gala raised £6100.47, and £1382.00 of that was from the teas alone! I understand that the teas were incredibly busy with a queues heading right out the door!

As I wasn’t at the event this year to take photographs (and the poor weather wouldn’t have helped anyway!) I thought I’d share some of the best images from the photos I’ve taken over the years when the sun has shone down upon us!

You can find both the Aith Lifeboat Station and the Lerwick Lifeboat Station on Facebook, and the annual Lerwick Lifeboat Open Day is on today from 11 – 4 pm!

Frances Moffat's Chocolate Pear Cake

Course: Main

Servings: 1 cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

  • plain flour - 4 oz
  • cocoa powder - 2 oz
  • margarine (ie: Stork) - 6 oz
  • caster sugar - 6 oz
  • baking powder - 1.5 tsp
  • Shetland hens' eggs - 3
  • fresh pears - 2 large
  • icing sugar - (to dust)
  1. Preheat oven to 170 C and lightly grease or line an 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. Cream the sugar and margarine together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and combine well.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet, and combine thoroughly.
  5. Peel and finely chop one of the pears and fold into the mixture.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin.
  7. Peel and cut the other pear lengthwise into 8 sections. Arrange on the top of the cake batter.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until well risen and springy to touch. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake will come out clean when it is ready.
  9. Leave to cool and then dust with icing sugar before serving.
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