Pear, chocolate and almond cake

Pear, chocolate and almond cakeI bought some pears a while ago with the vague intention of using them in a bake. When I finally remembered that they were still knocking about, I did a bit of research and decided to amalgamate two recipes to create this promising-sounding pear, chocolate and almond cake.

The two recipes I found were from Good Housekeeping and Tinned Tomatoes, which both looked excellent. I mainly followed the method from Tinned Tomatoes, while incorporating the almonds using Good Housekeeping’s method.

All went relatively well – I had to leave the cake in for longer than the recipe said, of course, but that’s nothing new for my oven! I only got a chance to properly taste it the next day, and was impressed by how fudgy the cake looked when I sliced it up.

Pear, chocolate and almond cake
However, the taste wasn’t quite what I expected. The almond flavour came through so strongly I could only just about taste the chocolate, and the pear was hardly anywhere to be seen! It was a bit disappointing, although it was still a lovely cake. I think perhaps my almond extract was overly strong (I used 1 tsp of it), and the pears weren’t ripe enough.

If I make this again, I’ll use a lot less almond extract (if any) and riper conference pears rather than the not-so-ripe dessert pears I actually used. I might also try adding dark chocolate to the mix or, failing that, serving the cake with a rich chocolate sauce!

The recipe below takes the above into account – it’s worth going slowly with the extract and tasting the mix as you go along.

Pear, chocolate and almond cake
Pear, chocolate and almond cake recipe

From Good Housekeeping and Tinned Tomatoes

Serves 8-10

  • 50g cocoa
  • 150ml hot water
  • One-quarter to half a teaspoon of almond extract, depending on its strength
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 very ripe conference pears, peeled and sliced lengthways
  • 25g flaked almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4. Grease a round 20cm springform tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Dissolve the cocoa in the hot water and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars and almond extract until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the ground almonds, eggs, cocoa mixture and flour, and beat until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the tin and place the pear slices on top. Scatter the flaked almonds on top.
  6. Bake for at least an hour. Check the cake with a skewer (it’s ready when the skewer comes out without any mix on it) and leave for 10 minutes a time, checking with a skewer each time, until the cake is cooked in the middle.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before serving.

 

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