120g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
120g dark chocolate, chopped (melted and cooled slightly)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal or hazelnut meal, or both.
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 pears, poached (Bosc are ideal but any variety will work)
Poach the pears:
- Peel, cut in half and core the pears. Combine 2-3 cups of water and half a cup of sugar in a sauce pan on medium-high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Add the pears, adding more water if needed to cover the pears. Bring to a low boil and cook for 20-25 min or until fork tender.
- Drain and set aside.
Melt the chocolate and set aside.
This can be done one of two ways:
(1) In the microwave, on 20 second intervals or
(2) in a bain marie: set a saucepan with about an inch of water over high heat, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat. Put the chopped chocolate in a shallow, heatproof bowl and set the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom does not touch the bottom of the pan. Watch the chocolate melt.
Make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180⁰C. Butter or spray a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan or line the bottom with non-stick baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, beat on a low speed until combined. Still on low speed, add the sifted flour mixture and beat for 1 minute, or until just combined.
- Pour the batter into prepared cake pan. Arrange the sliced pears in a circle.
- Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake. When a tester is inserted into the center of the cake, it should come out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
- Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
You can order organic pears when in season, along with many other groceries from our webstore.
Recipe by Confessions of a Tart
Photo of chocolate pear cake by Lairisha, on Flickr
Hints and Tips
Dairy free note: we made this cake twice, once substituting a dairy-free spread for the butter. This did not change the texture or the taste, but we did find that it needed a longer bake – maybe an extra 10 minutes. So, if you need to make this dairy free, know that you can. And let us know how you go!