• Sheena Philipose

Chocolate Pear Cake

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

There aren't many things I can distinctly remember from my childhood but I always 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- 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. I've tried many different recipes over the years in an effort to recreate this childhood classic, this one from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been the best so far. This recipe uses almond meal and flour with caramelized pears and a decadent chocolate sauce to bring it all together.

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

  • Dark chocolate: 75 g, broken into small pieces

  • Double cream: 75 ml


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 C and butter the inside of a 20-cm/8-inch cake tin.

  2. To start the caramelized pears, peel, quarter, and core the pears. Melt the butter in the pan on the stovetop and spread the soft brown sugar and orange zest on top before arranging the pears in a circular pattern. On a low flame, let the pears caramelize for a few minutes until the sugar fully dissolves.

  3. For the cake, start by combining the ground almonds, flour, and cocoa powder and set aside.

  4. 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, adding a spoonful of the dry ingredients with each. Fold in the remaining dry mix with a large metal spoon or spatula, then stir in a little milk until the mixture has a dripping consistency.

  5. Pour the cake mixture carefully over the pears, ensuring it covers them completely, and place in the oven.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. Slice and serve warm with chocolate sauce.

For a print out of the recipe click here:

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