28 January 2013

Pear, Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake

photo from BBC GoodFood

I made myself The Bairn this cake for his birthday. It is SO lovely.  I had to buy pears at the grocery store, because they're out of season and unavailable at the farm shops, which I do not do.  I brought them home and thought, "What am I doing making this cake all out of season?  Why didn't I stick with the Boston creme pie I had planned?" but as soon as I stuck my finger in the batter, I recalled what a delicious and pleasantly surprising treat this cake is.  I tried to convert the recipe into US measurements, but I was coming up with things like 4/5 C butter, so it's really more accurate in grams.  Cooking with scales is easier anyway. Buying one to make this cake alone will be well worth the purchase.

Pear, Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake
original recipe here

  • 100 g blanched hazelnuts*
  • 140 g self-rising flour
  • 175 g butter
  • 140 g white or caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 5 small, ripe pears
  • 50 g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks/slivers

Preheat the oven to 310 F.  Grease the bottom of a 7 inch round cake pan (a springform pan works really well).  Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor until quite fine.  Add the flour and pulse briefly.  Add the butter and pulse until it forms fine crumbs.  Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the sugar and eggs (don't overmix).  Peel, core and chop two of the pears.  Lightly stir the pears and chocolate into the batter.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Slice the remaining pears and arrange across the top of the batter, pressing down slightly.  Bake approximately 80 minutes (start checking around 60 minutes), until firm to the touch.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.  Best served slightly warm with cream or ice cream.

*To easily blanch hazelnuts, bring a pot of water and 2 T baking soda to a boil.  Add the hazelnuts and cook 3-5 minutes.  Rinse in cold water 1-2 minutes and slip the skins off with a clean dish towel.


Saskia said...

I have a version of this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and I love, love, love it. Best cake ever.

Rebekah said...

I've never tried pear and chocolate, but I'm intrigued. I saw the Smitten recipe as well while looking for other pear and chocolate recipes. Then I found another that looked good. Now I have three cake recipes to try. Oh dear.

MBC said...

I'll have to look up the Smitten Kitchen recipe. I LOVE the flavor combination.

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