By Jane Curran
This chocolate pear cake is a dessert cake with real wow factor, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. When you slice into this chocolate pear cake you reveal an eye-catching cross section of the poached pears. This rich and gooey chocolate cake is the perfect way to end any dinner party.
For the poached pears:
- 4-6 large unripe pears
- 1 x 75cl bottle red wine
- 150g sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
For the cake:
- 150g dark chocolate
- 50g crème fraiche
- 120g butter, softened
- 120g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 80g ground almonds
- 40g plain flour
- 1tbsp cocoa powder
- 1tbsp baking powder
You will need:
- a large loaf tin, about 28-30cm, greased and lined with a good overlap of baking parchment on all sides to help it out of the tin (as you can’t turn it out!)
- Peel the pears then put them into a small saucepan where they fit snugly upright. Add the wine, sugar and cinnamon. Cook gently until the sugar has melted then cover with a saucer or small plate to keep them submerged. Simmer for 30 minutes or until just tender. Trim the base so they stand straight in the tin. Allow them to cool out of the wine on kitchen paper while you make the cake. (At this point you can reduce the wine and cinnamon to a syrup to serve with the cake. Let it bubble for about 20 minutes or until thick and syrup-like. Set aside to cool).
- Heat the oven to 180°C. Put the chocolate and crème fraiche in a heat proof bowl and melt gently over simmering water. Whisk the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well between each addition. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
- Separately mix together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Fold into the cake mixture. Put the cake mixture into the tin then insert the pears in the centre in a straight line. Bake for 1hour, covering after 30mins, and leave to cool on a wire rack for 30mins before carefully removing it from the tin. Serve with the syrup, if using, and some clotted cream.
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