Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chocolate Pear Cake

I came across Chele's - Chocolate Teapot - blog one day while blog hopping and loved the idea of the We should Cocoa challenge.  The January challenge was perfect, surplus stock or leftovers, and I knew right away that I would be using pears.


My husband's office received a beautiful box of Asian pears just before the holidays and since most of the people in the office were already on vacation most of the pears came home with him.  Lucking the pears weren't super ripe so I didn't have to use them right away and I was able to hunt around to find the perfect recipe.  One of the first recipes I came across was Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake on Smitten Kitchen, her site is wonderful, beautiful pictures and great recipes.  The recipe was similar to the Cranberry Cake I made last month as part of the Cake Slice Bloggers, so for those two reason, I knew it would be a good one.  I marked the recipe and continued looking for ideas, but in my search I kept coming across references to Deb's recipe so I knew it was the one to go with.

Chocolate Pear Cake 

This type of cake is one of my favorites, it has a wonderful crumb, it is moist and not overly sweet, yet it still has a nice sugary crunch.  The flavor/filling can easily be adjusted, so it is a wonderful base recipe to have in your collection.  Deb's recipe has less flour and more baking soda than the cake slice recipe, so even though they are sprinkled on top, the pear and chocolate really get enveloped into the batter providing the perfect distribution of yumminess.  This is the perfect snacking cake, but be careful it disappears quickly, as you will find yourself taking a little sliver every time you walk by.

Chocolate Pear Cake
1 c. Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
3 Eggs
4 oz. Butter
1/2 c. Sugar
1/4 c. Vanilla Sugar (can substitute with regular sugar)
3 Pears peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
3/4 c. Bittersweet Chocolate pieces

Preheat oven 350.  Prepare 9" springform pan.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
With wish attachment whisk eggs until thick and pale.  The eggs should leave a thick ribbon, this will take about 8-10 minutes with a regular kitchen-aid style mixer.

While eggs are being whisked melt butter until brown.  The butter should become a nice golden brown, with a nutty smell.  Scrape the solids on the bottom of the pan as the butter cooks to ensure even browning.

Once eggs have reached the thick ribbon stage add sugar and beat for a couple of minutes.  Mixing until just incorporated add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the butter, add another 1/3 of the butter, then remaining butter, add remaining flour.  With each addition mix as little as possible, the entire process should take about a minute of mixing time.
Pour batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle diced pears and chocolate pieces on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.