Chocolate & Pear Bake

Posted on January 8, 2011

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I’ve recently rejoined the veg box fan club, having had Woodland Farm recommended to me by my friend (thank you KM x). If you’re in the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire area, I can highly recommend them for quality, variety, service and price. They fare very well against the more expensive counterparts like Abel & Cole, which appear to have placed a premium price on their produce for brand. However a muddy organic carrot doesn’t really justify a brand price premium in my mind!

Anyway, it has led to me having a glut of some produce while I work out what the right quantity and frequency of my veg box order should be. This has applied to onions (glut solved through this white onion & thyme soup recipe) and pears.

I’m not really a very fussy food person but I’ve never really enjoyed pears in their raw form. Stewed, baked, pureed or caramelised and they hit the spot for me but never to bite on straight from the fruit bowl. This recipe is adapted from Nigel Slater, with my addition of more vanilla and some cocoa powder for a chocolate hit!

 The pears are caramelised in honey, making them sticky sweet, and it’s important to use firm pears as over ripe pears will turn to mush too easily.

It’s not a very delicate cake, so I’d advise you to serve in thick wedges with cream alongside and a mug of something warm and wet!

Chocolate & Pear Bake

150g margarine, 25g butter (unsalted) 125g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 75g wholemeal self-raising flour, 75g ground almonds, pinch cinnamon, 3 pears (peeled, cored & quartered), 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 170°C/GM 3. Line a square cake tin (suggest 20cm, springform). Melt 25g butter in a large frying pan until bubbling, then add the granulated sugar and stir until dissolved. Add pears and fry gently, turning once or twice, until they start to colour (5-10 minutes). Set aside to cool. In a bowl, beat the margarine and caster sugar until fluffy them beat in one egg at a time (add a spoonful of the flour with each egg to prevent curdling). Add the remaining flour, ground almonds and cinnamon into the mixture. Scrape into the tin and arrange the pears on top. Pour over any buttery juices left in pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave cake to cool in tin for 15 minutes before releasing and cutting into squares (this should make about 9 portions).

Enjoy,

Helen x

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