DECEMBER 13: Mandarins and spice for a Christmas cake, served with clotted cream

food healthy winter agriculture


My reward for a mornings hard work hanging paper chains and swapping out bust tree lights is a (generous) slice of Patti Sloley’s Pear and Plantain Christmas cake with a dollop of clotted cream. 

When a social media post popped up this week saying fellow @thegfw member @pattismenu was on daytime TV show @lorrainekellysmith baking up a storm, I had to tear myself away from one screen to switch to another. 

The recipe can be found on 

Reaching into the back of my cupboard I found tinned mandarins and mangoes so switched that for the pears. The plantains need to be properly mushy and sweetened up as there is no sugar included in this recipe. 

Delicious, soft and moist … half will go in the freezer, and the sliced up for this week’s morning coffees.

Jewelled cake made with mandarin, mango, cinnamon, nutmeg and time © Bruce McMichael


I am a freelance journalist and published author focusing on food and drink; business startups and enterprise, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated with a Masters degree in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur.

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