Monday, March 1, 2010

Chocolate Pear Cake

Chocolate Pear Cake

I know you were waiting for me to bring you Hamantashen... and I wanted to, I really did. I even bought all the ingredients for the cookies and then... I made chocolate pear cake instead. I don't know what happened to me, but somewhere between the store and my kitchen, cookies morphed into cake and let me tell you, I am so not sorry. Because this chocolate cake? It's the bomb. It's moist and intensely chocolaty, and at the same time so soft and light and faintly sweet, like a flourless chocolate cake that's been given an airlift and taken to places it's never dreamt of going. In fact, I feel so strongly about it that I'm telling you right now - whatever dessert you were planning to make next, scrap it for this cake. Eat it warm with some softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle a few raspberries on top. You will thank me later, I swear.

Chocolate Pear Cake


Chocolate Pear Cake
Elra's Baking

[Dairy-Free Note: I made this cake twice, once substituting a dairy-free Earth's Balance spread for the butter. This did not change the texture or the taste, but I did find that I had to bake it a bit longer, maybe an extra 10 min, with the substitution. So, if you need to make this dairy free, know that you can]

4 oz unsalted butter, softened (or unsalted non-dairy substitute)
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped (melted and cooled slightly)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal (finely ground almonds), or hazelnut meal, or combination of both
4 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, or Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 Bosc pears, poached (sometimes, I use poached pears from a jar to save time)

Poach the pears: peel, cut in half and core the pears. Combine 2-3 cups of water and half a cup of sugar in a sauce pan on medium-high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the pears (add more water if needed to cover the pears), bring to a low boil and cook for 20-25 min or until fork tender. Drain and set aside.

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Butter or spray a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate and set aside. [This can be done one of two ways: (1) In the microwave, on 20 second intervals or (2) in a bain marie - set a saucepan with about an inch of water over high heat; bring to a boil and turn down the heat; put the chopped chocolate in a shallow-ish, heatproof bowl; set the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom does not touch the water; watch the cocolate melt.]

Sift together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, beat on a low speed until combined. Still on low speed, add the sifted flour mixture and beat for 1 minute, or until just combined.

Pour the batter into prepared cake pan. Arrange the sliced pears in a circle. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake. When a tester is inserted into the center of the cake, it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I think caramel would be pretty awesome here too.

34 comments:

Elra said...

Wow, well done Irene! You did it so well, it looks so delicious, and moist. I am so glad that you've tried it.

p.s
I actually made Hamantaschen, because my husband really wanted to bring back memory during his childhood celebrating Purim with his family. Unfortunately, my Hamantaschen didn't work quite well. He liked it nonetheless. Do you have any good recipe that I can try? I actually used Arthur Schwart's Jewih Home Cooking book. I've used a lot of his recipe, somehow I messed up with this one. I have quite plenty Jewish cookbook, any particular author that you've used for this recipe? Pls let me know. I really want to make it again for my husband.

Snooky doodle said...

oh chocolate and pear is really a fantastic combination :) yummy looks so tempting

Meghan said...

This is such a beautiful cake! I love chocolate with pears - and (almost) flourless chocolate cake is the best. Beautiful photos :)

Chanel11 said...

It definitely looks like 'the bomb' - and just in time for pear season :)

El said...

This such a beautiful and elegant dessert. I love the combination of pears and chocolate.

Sar said...

This looks SO GOOD. I've recently reconciled my childhood hate for pears and now I love them. Chocolate and pears = two fav things! Have to try this soon!

Julia said...

Hi Irene,

The pear cake looks incredible.This is going on my long list of things to bake (skipping the line and getting in at number one) :)

I'll let you know how it goes!

grace said...

oh, to be that slice of pear, blissfully ensconced in deep, dark chocolate. very nice, irene!

ChichaJo said...

I does sound truly delicious! I am sold :) Definitely putting this on my to-make list!

Junglefrog said...

O this looks so gorgeous and lovely and moist! I recently made a chocolate cake with apple which also worked really well. Gotta try this with pear too!

Manggy said...

Okay!! I believe you!! ;) Kidding aside, it does look ridiculously good...

Katie said...

Ohh that looks wonderful, so moist and squishy and lovely and dark. Would make a great dinner party dessert

Levinson-Axelrod said...

I've never heard of poaching pears, but it sounds like an awesome idea. This cake looks fab and tasty! Thanks for posting the recipe.

Irene said...

Poaching ensures that the pears are soft and infuses them with a sweet flavor. I gave very simple poaching instructions, but you can add spices to the poaching liquid to infuse the pears, like vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. They taste lovely.

Michelle said...

This looks fabulous, I will have to try it. I found you when I was searching for a scone recipe and wanted to let you know I made your March 2009 strawbeery scones recipe last weekend and they were fabulous. I'm going to post on my blog tonight and link back to you. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to many good reads on your blog.

Helene said...

I am going to follow you advice, I want to make that cake so bad. Looks so chocolatey and moist.

Kathleen said...

This looks fabulous! My favorite combo of ingredients!

The Food Librarian said...

Yummy! What a great flavor combo! - mary

Michele said...

Such a gorgeous cake! Delicious!!

The Caked Crusader said...

I'm drooling - chocolate and pear is my all time favourite combination and this looks up there with the best of the best!

sweethereafter said...

just discovered your blog via googling guiness cupcakes. This cake looks amazing. I love flourless cake and the combo of pear and chocolate. Will be trying this tonight!

veron said...

there's a pear in the cake, how lovely and delicious looking!

Deanna said...

I don't think I ever would have thought of pears and chocolate together. As soon as Lent is over I will have to make it.

Phoenix personal injury attorney said...

Looks like a great dessert. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe a couple of days ago but it was very gooey in the middle. It's not supposed to be like that is it? Any idea what went wrong? Would love some advice. Cheers

Irene said...

It sounds to me like it needed to hang out in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. The baking times do vary, what between ovens and outside temperature (and when I baked it with a non-dairy butter substitute, I had to almost double the baking time!). You want the cake to be moist, but not wet, if that makes sense. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with a few crumbs attached, but not completely chocolaty.

Krissy @ The Food Addicts said...

wow, that is one handsome looking cake! i like how you can see the pear when you cut into the cake. good stuff!!

Anonymous said...

Haven't tried the tart but clicked on the link to the nutella cake - my daughter had to make cupcakes for a bake sale at HS and we used the frosting recipe - gone in minutes - luckily we saved one for ourselves - fantastic - my favorite icing times two!

Cindy from Columbus

Cherine said...

This is a stunning cake. Love it!!

souffledays said...

I just pulled a very mini batch of this cake (two little ones) out of my toaster oven (that's all I have these days!). They look wonderful, but the pears didn't sink to the middle for some reason? I hope they aren't too dry!

-Heather

Jonnie said...

Thanks for this one. It tastes as good as it looks in the photos!

Mike said...

Made this for the second time and look forward to sharing it with the family. Delicieux!

Mike said...

Made this cake for the second time. The advice on careful cooking time is wise - first one I slightly over-cooked. This time, more cooking for pears, less for the cake. I am looking forward to sharing with now with family. Thank you!

bee said...

i would just like to say i made this cake ! it was unbelieveably delicious and so easy to make evryone love it thanks look forward to many more of your recipes!