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Pear, chocolate & hazelnut cake
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150g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g light brown soft sugar
3 British Blacktail Large Free Range Eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and left to cool
150g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
125g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 large ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
2-3 tbsp milk (optional)
For the topping
125g plain chocolate, chopped into small pieces
75ml double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
15g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Butter and base line a 22cm cake tin with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
2. Put the hazelnuts and chocolate into a food processor and, using the
pulse button, whizz to a coarse, chunky mixture.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together. Using a large metal spoon fold this into the creamed butter and sugar, then stir in the chopped nuts, chocolate and pear. If the mixture seems stiff, add some milk. The batter should be of a dropping consistency. Scrape this into the prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. To test whether the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the middle. You will find melted chocolate on this but not batter.
4. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, then slide a knife between the edges of the cake and the tin. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack,
peel off the baking parchment on the base and set the cake the right way up.
5. To make the ganache for the topping, put the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream and the sugar to boiling point, stirring a little to help the sugar melt. Pour the hot mixture onto the chocolate and stir vigorously until the chocolate has melted and everything is blended and smooth. Leave to cool a little, then spread this over the top of the cake. Scatter over the chopped hazelnuts and leave until the chocolate has set before serving.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in November 2019.