I made this chocolate pear cake quite a while ago and really liked it, even though never before have I combined chocolate cake batter and pears. As I luckily discovered, pears and chocolate cake work really well together in this easy-to-prepare, everyday cake. Especially if you have a couple of very ripe pears that you don’t know what to do with.
The original recipe called for caramelizing the pears and placing them on the bottom of the baking pan for an upside-down cake effect, but I didn’t want to caramelize the pears I had because they were too soft and overly ripe already. Instead, I just placed chopped pears on top of the cake batter, expecting the cake batter to rise evenly around the pears. The cake did rise around the pears, but in very select places as you can see for yourself on the photos. Still, the cake looked reasonably pretty, especially when dusted with confectionery sugar, and, what’s more important, tasted really good!
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This recipe is good on many levels: it’s easy-to-make, it’s delicious, the chocolate cake texture is just right, and this dessert has fruit in it which is what I love. It’s one of those recipes I will definitely try again. Maybe next time, I’ll fold the pears directly into the batter (instead of putting them on top) or will use different fruit or berries.
3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into large chunks
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt - mix to combine.
Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a small bowl, using a microwave, or on a stove top in a small pan over low heat. Stir well.
Transfer melted chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl, add granulated sugar, and, using electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed for a couple of minutes until the mixture is light in color. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating to combine. Add flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two in two additions, into the chocolate mixture.
Grease a 9×9 inch square pan or 9 inch round springform pan. If using a springform pan, line the bottom of the springform pan with a round piece of parchment paper.
Pour the cake batter into the baking pan and place chopped pears on top of the cake batter. Alternatively, you can fold in chopped pears into the cake batter before adding the cake batter into the baking pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out reasonably clean and the cake bounces when touched.
Cool on a wire rack for 15-30 minutes. If using springform pan, release the cake when completely cooled.
Dust with powdered sugar before serving: it will make this tasty cake look really pretty!