Chocolate, almond and pear cake
For the pears:
4 just-ripe pears
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
For the cake:
150g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
100g ground almonds
100g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
150g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs;
A splash of milk
For the chocolate sauce:
75g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids, broken into small pieces)
75ml double cream
25g caster sugar
2 tbsp water
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Peel, quarter and core the pears. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the brown sugar and orange zest and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears and cook them gently for a few minutes, turning frequently, until completely tender. Set aside.
Butter a 20cm springform cake tin and line with baking parchment. Combine the ground almonds, flour and cocoa powder and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together with a hand-held electric whisk or in a mixer for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of the almond mix with each. Fold in the rest of the almond mix with a metal spoon or spatula, then stir in a little milk to create a soft dropping consistency.
Spread this cake mixture in the prepared tin and arrange the pears on top, finishing them off with any buttery, sugary juices still in the pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin.
For the sauce, put all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of just-simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl, stirring occasionally. When melted, stir until smooth to give a glossy sauce with a thick pouring consistency; add a splash of hot water if necessary.
Serve slices of the cake, ideally still warm, with the hot or warm chocolate sauce.
- The Telegraph