Sweet

Pear & Chocolate Cake

This cake is one helluva good lookin’ cake. This is the cake will have you smiling like a proud parent when you remove from the oven.

And this is a BIG cake. A very big cake. But this just means there is a lot more to go around!

However, there was one obstacle – waiting for it to bake – it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes – a baking time that I do not quite like. And what’s even harder – waiting for it to cool. But that’s the thing about cake with fruits – they take a hell of a long time to bake – but the result is almost always moist, delicious and comforting.

About the recipe:

The recipe originally asked for cake flour – if you have that go right ahead. If you don’t, fret not, we can make it in seconds – simply add the cornstarch into the measuring cups first and then fill up with flour.

  • I used a regular had whisk and got an extremely good arm workout. However, feel free to use the electric whisk to speed things up and to be kinder to your muscles.
  • I used a smaller cake tin – hence, the longer baking time. I would recommend using a 12-inch cake tin.
  • The baking time is almost an hour. However you may notice the tops of the cake browning faster than the insides cooks – if this happens, simple place a foil loosely over the cake at half time and continue baking. Additionally, you can move the cake tin to the lower tray at half time.
  • When you’re ready to remove the cake, make sure the knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Also, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature, including the milk.
  • Use a springform tin pan (with removable sides).

To see the short video: YOUTUBE

 

The Recipe
Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 3 cups minus 6 tbsp flour
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 110 ml milk
  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 pears, chopped
  • 3 whole pears, peeled
  • 125 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 500 ml cream, cold
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 vanilla pod

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease and line the cake tin.
  • Whisk the flour, cornstarch and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk the oil and sugar first in a separate bowl.
  • Then add the eggs, salt and extracts.
  • Whisk laboriously until the volume doubles.
  • Then fold in half the portion of the flour mixture and half the milk until combined.
  • Then add in the remaining flour and milk and fold into the batter.
  • Fold in the chopped chocolate and pears also.
  • Pour the batter into the cake tin.
  • Halve the 3 peeled pears, leave the stems on. With a melon baller, remove the core. Turn the pears around and with a sharp knife score the pears lengthwise, without going all the way through.
  • Arrange the pears face down on top of the cake batter, just slightly pushing down.
  • Bake for 55 to 65 minutes.
  • Remove from oven once the skew comes out completely clean from the center of the cake.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 15-20 minutes within the pan before removing onto a cooling rack.
  • Whip the cream for at least 10 minutes.
  • Add the scraped pods of the vanilla bean, cinnamon, sugar and whip again until combined.
  • Fold in the almonds and pour into your serving jug and refrigerate until ready to serve with the cake.