Wednesday 18 September 2013

Chocolate and Pear Cake

The other evening I really wanted to bake a cake, so I used my moist chocolate cake recipe and decided to top it with softly caramelised pears. We ate it warm before I took any good photos. I liked it a lot, so it was made again, this time with a few improvements, and eaten before I could take any photo too!. So here I present you the finished article, triple tested and enjoyed every time: my chocolate and pear cake.

The cake is dark, chocolatey and moist, with a soft texture. The pear is soft and slightly caramelised on top, and adds a lovely extra taste and texture hidden in the middle.

This makes a Big cake, like family sized 24cm round and deep too! So halving the mix makes a nice 18-20cm cake that is still deep and makes about 6 portions. I have put the quantities  for a smaller cake in brackets.

Chocolate and Pear Cake 

4 small pears                                                (2 small pears)
185 butter, melted                                         (90g butter, melted)
300g brown sugar/muscovado sugar               (150g brown sugar/muscovado sugar) 
3 eggs                                                          (1 large egg/2 small eggs)
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)                       (1/2 tsp vanilla essence (optional))
160ml water                                                  (80ml water)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder                         (1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder)
225g self-raising flour                                    (110g self-raising flour )
75g plain flour                                               (40g plain flour)
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda                           (1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda)        

  Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a deep 24cm (18-20cm) round cake pan.
  Peel the pears and slice them. Place in a small shallow pan and cover with water. Simmer over a low heat until just soft. Keep an eye on them while you start on the cake.
  Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, beating each one in thoroughly. Mix in the vanilla essence.
  Drain the pears through a sieve over a glass jug so that you save the water. 
  Return the pears to the dry pan and add 15g (10g) of butter and 20g (10g) of sugar. Place on a low heat to slightly caramelise.
  Measure out 150ml (80ml) of the pear water and mix in the cocoa powder until dissolved. Add to the bowl of eggs, butter and sugar and and mix until smooth.
  Sieve the flours and bicarb into the bowl and beat until combined. 
  Pour half the mixture into the cake pan and arrange half the pears on top. Then pour over the other half of mixture in and arrange the pears in a spiral pattern on the top.
  Bake for about 40 minutes until a cake tester comes out almost clean but is still moist. Leave to cool slightly. 
  Enjoy a slice of the cake with a cup of tea!

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