Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

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.


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


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)
1 conference pear (peeled and sliced thinly)
1 tablespoon warmed apricot jam (to glaze)


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.


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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ChocMousse (1)I am not ashamed to say I love my desserts but at the same time I am quite picky.  So when I watched this chocolate mousse being made in my honour, I didn’t have high hopes for it. especially when I saw the ingredients – how wrong I was.  If velvet could be described as a food then it would be this chocolate mousse.  Not only is it smooth tasting but it has a deep intense chocolate taste that dissolves in the mouth.  It is without a shadow of a doubt a grown up dessert.

Since commandeering this recipe for myself I have now made it over and over again.  As with all much-loved recipes I have made a change, which was to remove the orange zest which I feel distracts from the main ingredient – the chocolate. I know that there are so many flavours such as chilli and others that would compliment the chocolate but this recipes calls for top quality chocolate, so why ruin what is a luxury and delicious ingredient by masking it with another?  There are other reasons I love this recipe and why I continually make it and that is its simplicity and the four ingredients that are always in stock in my larder.  Eggs, butter, sugar and chocolate.

It has a decadence about it and it’s not a dessert that you want to rush. It’s quick to make and a little goes a long way.   Not even I, who doesn’t have an off switch when it comes to eating chocolate, can manage two helpings.

So thank you Sophia (whose recipe it is) this recipe is now set firmly in my repertoire of tried, tested and much loved desserts.

Chocolate Mousse


makes 6 small pots

100g dark chocolate at least 70% cocoa such as Green & Blacks or Montezumas
65g unsalted butter
3 eggs
90g caster sugar
Chocolate covered coffee beans for decoration.
(and an orange for zest IF you want it)
  1. Break the chocolate up and with the butter put into a Bain Marie or into the Microwave.  Heat until melted.  Stir to combine.
  2. Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until very pale.  Add the melted chocolate (and orange zest if required).
  3. Whisk the egg whisk until the white peak stage and then fold into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Pour into little pots or glasses and chill in a fridge for at least three hours.
Serve on their own or with a little clotted cream.


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