The Fresser

Chocolate, almond, pear cake for Pesach

You can never have too many Pesach bakes. This light, chocolatey cake is also a perfect pud.

April 02, 2017 21:05

We were invited to tea at a friend's house. I offered to bring a cake.

One of my failings is never planning ahead. To balance this flaw — which infuriates my extremely organised mother — my cupboards are always sufficiently well stocked to allow last minute baking.

I needed a recipe to make use of the overripe pears in my fridge. By March, pears are really showing their age, their skins displaying bruises in ugly brown weals. As pears are bff's with chocolate, I decided a chocolate cake would do the job. Many recipes bring almonds into the equation, so I thought it would make a good test run for Pesach.

It was the simplest recipe to make. No need even to plan ahead and leave butter to soften. You melt it straight into the chocolate. The pears need to be pretty ripe, or they retain a bit too much crunch even after baking.

If your pears are too firm, all is not lost. Just peel, halve and core them first and poach gently in water squeezed with a little lemon juice until tender. Then drain and pat dry before using in the cake.

The cake is going to be added to my Pesach repertoire. It's quick, easy and a crowd pleaser.  

To make this cake you will need:

85g butter (or margarine), plus extra for greasing
85g dark chocolate
85g caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
85g ground almonds
3 - 4 very ripe pears, peeled halved and cored
icing sugar for dusting


  • Grease and line a 20cm spring form tin and heat your oven to 180°C.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together. I use my microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring gently with a spatula in between heating bursts.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar with electric beaters in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is thick and pale. This should take a few minutes.
  • In a clean bowl with clean whisk or beaters, whip the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks.
  • Mix the egg yolk mixture with the cooled, melted chocolate and the almonds.Add a third of the egg whites to loosen the mixture, then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Keep as much air in as possible. 
  • Pour into the tin and arrange the pear halves on top - cut side facing down. 
  • Bake for 35 minutes - until the pears are soft and the cake feels reasonably firm. if you pierced the cake with a skewer it should come out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool for five minutes in the tin. Remove it and leave the cake to cool on a wire rack. 
  • I prettied up the pears by brushing them and the cake with a tablespoonful of ginger preserve warmed gently with a teaspoon of water. Before serving I dusted it with icing sugar.  
April 02, 2017 21:05

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