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Archive for March, 2015

pear,chocolate cake

Pear, chocolate and hazelnut cake a combination that tastes delicious. This isn’t a light delicate spongy type of cake. It has more of a robust crumbly texture and there is no mistaking the three key ingredients as they sing out beautifully together.

This is not a recipe that I have made or even tasted before. I came across it on Instagram and more precisely on Daniel Etherington’s feed. There was no recipe link, nothing, just a photo and description. It caught my eye, and more importantly my taste buds. I Googled it and found only a few links to two slightly different recipes.  I had a free Sunday afternoon and the ingredients so decided to follow my desire for pear, chocolate and hazelnut cake.  I read both recipes and the comments left about the too short cooking time and decided to branch out with my own version.

At the time of making the cake I didn’t think to look on Daniel Etherington’s blog for the recipe!  Which I note is again slightly different to the one below.  I also note his oven time is shorter, I am guessing because his recipe calls for a higher oven temperature.

A couple of notes on this recipe;  Firstly, I left the cake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, the original recipes stated 50mins which is far too little – I am not alone on this statement!  I went with experience and after an hour opened the oven to check on the cake.  I could tell that it wasn’t ready to be tested.  I left it for another 15 minutes until I got a light springy resistance when lightly pressed. I then inserted a skewer to check it was done.  Secondly,  I used an extra pear thinly sliced and laid across the top of the cake in a fan as decoration.  Finally, the apricot jam glaze does make a difference, not only to the overall look –  it also gives a slight sweet note.

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The original recipe states conference pears but I don’t think that matters greatly. It can be eaten warm but I preferred it cold, as it wasn’t as crumbly and much easier to cut. I served it with clotted cream, but ice cream would be just as nice.

Pear, Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake

Ingredients

100g roasted hazelnuts
140g self-raising flour
175g butter cut into small pieces
140g caster sugar
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 conference pears (peeled, cored and diced small)
50g dark chocolate (cut into small pieces)
Decoration
1 conference pear (peeled and sliced thinly)
1 tablespoon warmed apricot jam (to glaze)

Method

Turn oven on to Gas mark 3/160C.
Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
Place hazelnuts in a food processor and chop until fairly fine. Add to this all the flour.
Add butter cubes and pulse until crumbs appear, be careful not to over pulse as the crumbs will turn into clumps. Add to this the sugar, slightly beaten eggs and the vanilla extract. Pulse enough to combine.
Stir in chopped pears and chocolate.
Spoon mixture into the lined cake tin, leveling the top with the back of a spoon. Add the thinly sliced pear in a fan design on the top.  Embed the pear slices into the mixture by gently pushing them in.
Place in the oven and leave for 1 hour 15 minutes. Depending on the ripeness of the pears and differences in ovens check after an hour. The cake should have a lovely golden colour.
Remove and allow to cool in its tin for about 10 minutes. Warm up the apricot jam in the microwave and brush over the top of the cake.
Can be eaten warm or cold. Best eaten with a large spoon of cream. Or in my case a generous spoon of clotted cream.

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Before the apricot glaze is brushed on.

 

N.B It is really worth roasting the hazelnuts as they give a much deeper nuttier taste to this cake.

 

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