Life is better with chocolate and I firmly believe this . Its like a magic wand, with chocolate in one hand, you can certainly overcome any adversities of your bittersweet life.
Chocolates are my weakness, specially the dark and bitter sweet one. In one word, I am simply addicted to chocolates.They are very much part of my everyday life and believe me I can write eloquently on chocolates, even a two hundred page novel would be shorter for this.
Such is my obsession with chocolates. And please note here I am equally repellent to milk chocolates. Ironically that was the kind I have grown up eating all my early life. And once I have discovered the dark ones, I have become an overnight convert.
Few days back I happened to bake this dark chocolate pear cake. Now, I like chocolates in its pristine and pure form. My dark chocolate cake can vouch for my obsession with chocolates. And my love for chocolates, heightened that feeling when I baked this dark fudge triple chocolate cake topped with the best silken ganache I had ever made. Chocolate ganache are extremely versatile, you can mold them to make some truffles or to pour in as filling in your chocolate tarts, and as you dig deeper into the depths of silken luxury, you can see heaven opened up. Adding something into that pristine silky liquid is an idea that had never appealed to me.
But I have two over ripen pears also sitting hopefully in my fruit basket for days. They had well past the stage of “poached pears” and no one in the family was quite comfortable about eating them raw. Poached pears in wine dressed up with cascades of flowing hot chocolate sauce would be too fancy and sexy at this time, specially such feelings automated only when Valentine days are nearer or on your anniversaries, but on a dull winter days, a cake would be just fine and will perfectly suit the temperament.
So, after much reluctance I had finally agreed to their marriage, I mean chocolate and pear. I know they would be one hot pair, just made for each other type. There is this recipe and lusciously photographed chocolate pear cake that was tempting me from the day one, I bought the book ” 100 best desserts with chocolates”, unfortunately the book has been discontinued now. That recipe was based on Sicilian chocolate pear cake with almond flour, I had tweaked the recipe slightly. In my opinion all almond flour and dark chocolates must be reserved for chocolate tortes. Instead I chose to bake this as a light fruit cake in my loaf pan.
This chocolate pear cake is extremely simple to whip up, old fashioned, one bowl type. And you do not need to cream the butter and sugar, that is quiet painstaking work. Eggs are optional here. If you are allergic to eggs or has dietary restrictions, you can substitute it with other ingredients, I have listed in note sections. I do add eggs in all my cakes, they add firm structure to the cakes. I have added chocolates in two forms. One as cocoa powder and also as dark chocolate pieces. Cocoa powder alone cannot give that fudgy look if you are seeking that kind of chocolate cake. So please add some chocolate pieces or chocolate chips.
A Winter cake must have some warm spices too. I have added not just cinnamon, but ginger, clove and nutmeg powder too, and together they exude enough warmth and comfort.
Use soft type pears for this recipe, preferably Bosc, Bartlett or Anjou. I have used Anjou variety here. If you are using firm pears in the recipe, then by all means poached them in wine or any syrup. Else wait till the pears become ripe and matured. You can place the pears in three ways, first slice them and placed them vertically like I did. Refer the photographs. Second, slice them and place them in the bottom of the pan for tarte tartin effect or upside down style. And third simply chopped them and mix them in the batter.
Last, one thing I must tell you, that the cake wont rise enough around the pears. The texture of cake around pear will be doughy or pasty kind. But that should not stop you from making this delightfully delish spiced dark chocolate pear cake.
And moreover, here you just dump everything in a bowl, slice the pears, place them and bake them till nice and firm.
After 40 minutes you will end up with a delicious loaf cake that you can eat all by yourself or you can distribute among other family members if you are feeling that generous. Dust with sugar or served with hot chocolate sauce, you can convert this simple loaf cake into a heavenly delicious dessert.
- All purpose flour : 1 cup
- Cocoa powder, dutch processed: ⅓ cup
- Salt : ½ tsp
- Sugar (brown or muscavado) : ¾ cup
- Honey : ¼ cup
- Baking powder : 2 tsp
- Baking Soda : 11/2 tsp
- Egg : 2
- Butter, softened : ¼ cup
- Chocolate, dark or bittersweet : 4 ounce
- Pear : 2 cored and cut into slices)
- Spices (Cinnamon , Cloves, Nutmeg) : 2 tbsp combined measure
- Milk : ½ cup warm
- In a double boiler, or empty pan over pot of boiling water add the chocolates and butter together.
- Let them melt. Once softened, whip them together with the help of spatula.
- Add honey to them.
- In a separate bowl, cream eggs and sugar until pale with the help of electric beater. To this add the milk and blend well.
- Bloom the cocoa powder in little hot water.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour twice together with salt, spices, baking powder and soda.
- To this add the egg-sugar - milk mixture, followed by cocoa mixture. Mix it well.
- Followed by chocolate-butter- honey mixture, and whip it well with spatula.
- Vigorously blend with spatula, everything together until the cake batter looks smooth and easy flowing, it should fall in ribbons .
- Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
- Grease and dust a loaf pan or a six inch round pan.
- Pour the batter in the pan. Level it up.
- Carefully place the sliced pears at regular interval.
- Bake the cake for 35-40 minute or till the cake tester when inserted in the middle of the cake comes clean.
Substitute the eggs with ½ cup mashed banana or Greek plain yogurt.
Butter Substitution :
Butter can be substituted with oil (vegetable, canola or olive oil). Not more than ½ cup oil. It should be the upper limit. More than this cake will turn out oily and poorly risen.
More to come, stay tuned. Join me in Instagram for daily food bites.