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Pear chocolate loaf cake recipe

Pear chocolate loaf cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Chocolate cake
  • Chocolate loaf cake

It's not hard to remember the proportions of this recipe - the weight of flour, butter, sugar and eggs is the same. Then, you can add whatever you like - in this case, pears and chocolate.

173 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 3 eggs
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 140g plain flour
  • 140g butter, melted
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tinned pears, drained and chopped

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:35min ›Extra time:10min cooling › Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour a large loaf tin.
  2. Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a bowl. Sieve the flour, and stir in the flour and melted butter. Stir in the chocolate and pears. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(12)

Reviews in English (10)

After reading the reviews I added 1 rounded tsp of baking powder. I cooked it on 170 (fan oven) and it took 45 minutes and then the skewer came out clean. I also lined the tin - I always do. It is lovely, easy to slice and really moist. I will make another one tomorrow to take to work. Great recipe.-26 Oct 2013

Absolutely yummy! Does need baking powder or self raising flour though, or will be like a brick!-22 Apr 2013

Yummy cake and easy recipe. Although I changed sugar and used Caster and self raising flour with an addition of a teaspoon of baking powder.-02 Jul 2014


Recipe Summary

  • 3 8 ounces Bartlett pears, peeled
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 3-inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
  • Finely shredded orange peel (optional)

Core the pears from the bottom, leaving the stems intact. In a large saucepan combine the water, 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and cinnamon stick. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add pears. Return to boiling reduce heat. Cover simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove from heat. Discard liquid and cinnamon stick. Cool pears.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan set aside. In a large bowl combine the 1 2/3 cups flour, brown sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, baking powder, 1 tsp. cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, and olive oil. Add to flour mixture. Whisk until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan. In a small, shallow dish combine 1 Tbsp. flour, 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Roll each pear in the flour mixture to lightly coat. Place pears, stem sides up, down the center of the batter (pears will be exposed at the top, but the batter will rise up around them during baking). Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean Remove cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan cool completely.

To serve, drizzle melted white chocolate over loaf. Garnish with orange peel, if desired.


Ingredients

  • 315 g salted butter at room temperature, 11 oz
  • 315 g brown sugar 1 ½ cups
  • 5 eggs lightly beaten
  • 315 g ground almonds 11 oz
  • 50 g gluten free flour or plain flour ½ cup
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 2 ripe pears peeled and sliced (or chopped if you prefer)
  • 100 g dark chocolate roughly chopped, 3 ½ oz, 70% cocoa
  • caster sugar for dusting

Instructions

Nutrition

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Pear and Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake 3

For the first time since we planted our pear tree, we have a glut of pears so I have been busy researching and testing out pear recipes. This Pear and Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake is based on a very simple recipe that my Mum used to make.

We planted an apple tree and a pear tree the first year we moved into our new home and have never had more than a handful of pears until this year. In the past, we have always had to rely on my Sister in Law for pears to make our pear butter.

I never realised that pears do not ripen on the tree, instead, they need to be removed and either placed on a window ledge (for fast ripening) or ideally in a dark dry place (thanks to Monty Don and Gardeners World for that information).

If your pears are not yet ripe then you can peel, core and chop them and add them to a small amount of water in a pan until they soften. You could also use tinned pairs or overripe pears. This Pear and Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake is so versatile and quick to make.

I am a big fan of a loaf cake, easy to slice and a great cake tin cake. It is so easy to make and is also perfect served warm with custard or vanilla ice cream.


Bittersweet chocolate and pear cake

Almost two years ago, Alex and I met friends for dinner at Al Di La, an always-packed, funky mom-and-pop Italian restaurant in Park Slope that not only doesn’t take reservations, it has no room for you to stand around while you wait for one (unless you go to the adjacent wine bar). It helps to know someone who works there.

Before we went, Alex dug up their menu online (does anyone remember life back when you actually had to arrive at a restaurant to find out what they served? Probably less tripe and rabbits feet on the menu, eh?) and decided at that very moment that we must order the torta di pere, a bittersweet chocolate and pear cake. “Fruit and chocolate together?” I said, “Why is this necessary?” as I had always insisted that they were better apart.

And of course, like all good teaching stories, then we tried it, licked the plate and then I proceeded to spend the next year and a half (until she caved) begging my friend Anna, one of the restaurant’s pastry chefs, for the recipe because, you see, I have no tact at all. Or perhaps the bittersweet chocolate and pear cake was that good. Did I mention it has browned butter in it? Obviously, good manners had to wait.

A nomination! It seems that Smitten Kitchen has been nominated as one of the best-written food blogs (aw, though the people who email me daily with grammatical corrections may beg to differ!) by the Well-Fed Network. Why thank you!

Al Di La’s Torta di Pere [Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake]
Courtesy of Al Di La Restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Aside from the chocolate chunks, the bits of pear and the browned butter (like I you need to hear anything else before you take off in the direction of the kitchen) one of the coolest things about baking this cake is the eggs, that are beaten far beyond “combined” or “fluffy” but until they have the volume of a shiny, velvety ribbon of a custard, or in other words, if you have an electric mixer of any sort, this is the time to use it. You don’t want to skimp on this set.

The next coolest thing about this is that as I was making it, I was so befuddled by putting the pear and chocolate pieces on top of the cake, as I clearly remembered them to be inside it. Yet the cake rises up in the oven and tucks them into their fold and, lo, it is a glorious, delicious thing.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room-temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 pears, peeled, in a small dice (I used anjou, but would recommend a softer variety, like a bosc or any other of your favorites)
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with breadcrumbs (I cheated and used flour), set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick. (In a professional Kitchen Aid, it takes at least five minutes on a home machine, it will take nine minutes to get sufficient volume)

While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan (because it will foam a lot) and cook it until the butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.

Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more.

Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to lose volume, turn the mixture down to stir, and add the flour mixture and brown butter. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined — no more than a minute from when the flour is first added — and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top, and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes [updated, thanks for your responses], or a tester comes out clean.

We served it with barely whipped whipped cream with a drop of almond extract in it, but I believe Anna serves it with buttermilk ice cream at the restaurant, which is, the best thing in the entire world, something I have the recipe for and promise to tell you about soon. (I’m just scared to make it because I ate the entire pint she gave me last time by myself. In three days.)

Update 1/27/09: I’ve added more baking suggestions in the comments: in short, please, don’t take your cake out before it is done. Doneness is much more important than baking times.


To make this chocolate cake, set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Butter the flan tin and put a disc of baking parchment in the base. Spoon in a little sugar and use it to coat the inside of the tin, then tip out the excess.

Melt the butter and chocolate together, in a bowl over a pan of hot water or in a microwave oven. Leave it to cool slightly, but don’t allow it to reset.

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thick and creamy and a trail can be seen in the mixture when the whisk is lifted up. This is easiest done using a tabletop mixer, as it can take 5-10 mins, so it’s a long time to be holding a hand-held whisk.

To prepare the pears, peel them with a vegetable peeler and then halve them. Use a melon baller, or a teaspoon, to scoop out the pips in the centre.

Fold the melted chocolate mixture and ground almonds into the whisked egg-yolk mixture.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re stiff. Fold a couple of tablespoons of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, to loosen it.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the egg whites pour it to one side of the egg whites rather than in the centre, to avoid knocking out too much of the air from the egg whites.

Fold both mixtures together, using a large metal spoon, or a spatula, taking care not to overwork it or the air will be lost and the sponge won’t rise as much.

Pour the mixture into the tin hold the bowl just above the tin while pouring — again, so that the air isn’t lost from the mixture.

Arrange the pear halves on top, with the cut-side down. Bake cake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins to 1 hour, or until it’s set in the centre and the mixture doesn’t wobble. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring it to a wire rack.

While the cake is still hot, warm the apricot glaze or jam and brush it over the top. Dredge the cake with icing sugar just before serving. It may be served warm or at room temperature.


Heat the oven to 130ºC/Gas Mark 1/2. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt it in the oven. Remove from the oven and keep in a warm place. Turn the oven heat up to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.

Beat the butter until really soft. I use a hand-held electric mixer. Gradually add the icing sugar while beating constantly, then beat until light and pale yellow. (If you add all the sugar at once and start beating butter and sugar together, you will find the sugar flying everywhere except in the butter.) Add the 3 egg yolks, cinnamon, salt and melted chocolate.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry and then fold it into the mixture by the spoonful, alternating with spoonfuls of flour. Fold lightly but thoroughly.

Peel and core the pear and cut it into 1cm cubes. Mix lightly into the mixture.

Butter a 900g loaf tin. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of flour, shake the tin so the flour covers all the surface and then throw away the excess flour. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the sides of the cake have shrunk from the tin and the cake is dry in the middle – test by inserting a wooden cocktail stick.

Remove the tin from the oven, unmould the cake on to a wire rack and leave to cool.


1. Make the cocoa crumble by mixing all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the olive oil and stir with a fork until it's the consistency of wet sand. Squeeze to form irregular-sized clumps, then place in the fridge while you make the cake.

2. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan-forced). Grease and line a loaf tin, roughly 20cm x 10cm, with baking paper, making sure you have a good overhang at each end to help you lift the cake out later. Set aside.

3. For the cake, start by placing the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and pouring 125ml of recently boiled water over it. Allow to stand for 30 seconds, then whisk gently until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.

4. Place the eggs, brown sugar and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat using the paddle attachment until thick and pale, about 4 minutes.

5. In the meantime, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a medium bowl.

6. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, then the rest of the chocolate. Finally, add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.

7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing it over so that it's even on top. Lay the sliced pears, overlapping, on top of the batter and scatter over the cocoa crumble.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour (cover loosely with foil if it looks like the crumble is burning) or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before transferring onto a serving plate with the help of the overhanging baking paper. Slice and serve with whipped cream.


Which pear variety to use for this cake

You want to make sure to use a pear variety that holds its shape well when cooked. I chose the Bosc kind as it works well for this recipe, and I have plenty of those at my doorstep at the moment! It holds its shape well in this cake.

This loaf makes the perfect morning or afternoon tea, or in my case, even breakfast!

I find that a soft, moist loaf like this chocolate and pear one is even better the next day. The flavours deepen, and the texture of the cake becomes a little firmer.

Now, I can’t tell you how it is on day three, as it never gets past day two in our household.


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Please, note that the recipe was primarily developed using gram measurements for high precision and then converted to the US volume and weight measurements. I recommend using a kitchen scale for accuracy and the best results.

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