I'm a true chocoholic and I can't resist a new chocolate cake recipe. When I saw that one of the ingredients in The Alchemist's Chocolate Cake was pears, I knew I had to try it(Pears and chocolate are a perfect match - Poire Belle Hélène is one of my favourite French desserts.)
I found this recipe by Dan Lepard in the Sainsbury's magazine. He's a Master baker who has worked for great chefs all over the world, including Giorgio Locatelli and Alastair Little and he offers sweet and savoury recipes in the How to Bake series in The Guardian online so I was feeling confident that my cake would be a success!
I'm so pleased with the result - the cake has a rich, deep flavour and a light, moist texture with a hint of pear and it was so quick to make! There is very little fat or refined sugar and apparently if you cut it into 10 slices, it works out about 220 calories a serving. However, I covered mine in gorgeous melted chocolate and cut it into about seven generous portions- so quite a few more calories in my slices!
1 x 411g tin pear halves in juice
75g cocoa powder
125g caster sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
50ml walnut oil
3 medium eggs
225g plain flour
2½ tsp baking powder
1.Drain the pears well, reserving the juice. Measure the cocoa, sugar and 125ml of the pear juice into a saucepan, madly whisk it all together and bring to the first 'plop' of a boil. Spoon it with the pear halves, into a mixing bowl and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile line the bottom and sides of a 20cm round 7cm deep cake tin with non-stick baking paper and preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted) gas mark 4.
2.Spoon the pears and cocoa mixture, into a blender, add the vanilla and oil and purée until smooth. Pour this back into the bowl, then beat in the eggs. Stir together the flour and baking powder, sift into the bowl and beat until smooth.
Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.
(Best made and eaten on the same day but it can be frozen)
Do you have a favourite chocolate cake recipe?
- covering the cake with good quality melted chocolate
- enjoying a slice with a glass of miss b's pink fizz
- serving with a dollop of whipped cream (or low-fat crème fraîche!)
- buying Dan Lepard's latest book Short and Sweet