Chocolate Pear Cake
Updated: May 9
There aren't many things I can distinctly remember from my childhood but I fondly remember this cake. Amma had found a chocolate pear cake recipe in the newspaper, which seemed like an unusual combination at the time but it soon became a favorite of mine - the chocolate sponge with the caramelized pears, yum! Unlike apples, pears hold their shape well and have a more distinct texture, which works to its benefit in a cake. This recipe uses almond meal and flour with caramelized pears and a decadent chocolate sauce to bring it all together.
With so many varieties available on the market, it can be tough to choose which pears work best for baking. I'm not a fan of Chinese pears I find them hard. Anjou pears are especially great for baking because they can withstand high temperatures they are great for pies and tarts. Below is a picture of the pears I used, whichever pear you decide to use, just ensure its ripe.
Pro Tip: check to see if your pears are ripe by applying gentle pressure to the base of the neck, or stem end, of the pear with your thumb. If the flesh gives a bit and yields to pressure, it’s ripe.
Here's a short video tutorial on making this https://youtu.be/UlRxT0yoTiQ
Chocolate Pear Cake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serving: 6 large or 8 small slices
For the caramelized pears
Pears: 6-7, just ripe
Butter: 35 g
Brown sugar: 2 Tbsp, softened
Finely grated zest of one orange
For the cake
Butter: 150 g, softened
Caster sugar: 150 g
Ground almonds: 100 g
Self-raising flour: 100 g
Cocoa powder: 25 g
Eggs: 2 large
A splash of milk
For the chocolate sauce (optional)
Dark chocolate: 75 g, broken into small pieces
Double cream: 75 ml
Preheat the oven to 170 C/340F and butter the inside of a 20-cm/8-inch cake tin.
To start the caramelized pears, peel, quarter, and core the pears. Arrange the Pears in a circular pattern or any pattern of your choice. Sprinkle the soft brown sugar and orange zest on the pears.
Melt the butter in a pan on the stovetop and pour it over the pears.
On a low flame, let the pears caramelize for a few minutes until the sugar fully dissolves and u get a pale brown, golden syrup.
For the cake, start by combining the ground almonds, flour, and cocoa powder and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a handheld or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
With the mixer on at a low speed add a little of the dry ingredients at a time alternating with the milk. This is a thick batter.
Spoon the cake mixture carefully over the pears, ensuring it covers them completely but taking care not to ruin the pear pattern and place in the oven.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the sponge comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin but not for too long.
To make the sauce, pour the cream into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 45 seconds on high. When it is hot and bubbling, add the broken up chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy. If you find the sauce is too bitter, you can add 1-2 tsp of sugar.
To remove the cake from the tin, start by running a blunt knife through the outside of the cake to loosen it. Place a plate on top of the tin and carefully flip the cake onto the plate so that the pears are on top. Make sure you get all the buttery, sugary goodness that was hiding at the bottom!
Slice and serve warm with chocolate sauce.
Here's a short tutorial https://youtu.be/UlRxT0yoTiQ
For a print out of the recipe click here: