One of the first ‘adult’ cookbooks I was ever given was the Marie Claire “Flavours” – its from Donna Hay’s era writing these cookbooks. The styling is quite simple – you might even say stark, but holds up surprisingly well for being 12 years old. I haven’t cooked every recipe, but every one I have tried has been successful. The lemon or lime tart was my speciality for several years in the early naughties.
This recipe is essentially for an upside-down cake, the intention being that you’ll invert the tin onto a plate, and release a luscious chocolate cake topped with fresh pears cooked in a sweet caramel toffee. A cake version of a tarte tatin I suppose.
If I can give you one piece of advice, as someone who has the wisdom of hindsight, don’t attempt to cook the cake in a springform pan. And if you choose to disregard my advice, make sure you have an industrial strength oven cleaner close to hand.
Human error aside, this cake went down a treat with the extended family.
Chocolate pear cake
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||50 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 10 minutes|
|From book||Marie Claire Flavours|
- 80g butter
- 2/3 cups brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2-4 pears ((depending on size) peeled, halved and cored)
- 185g butter (brought to room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups self-raising flour (sifted)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder (sifted)
|1||Preheat over to 180*. Line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper (bottom and sides).|
|2||In a pan combine the 80g of butter, 2/3 cup of brown sugar and water and heat over medium until the butter has melted.|
|3||If you wish you can place the pears cut side down and cook for 2 minutes to caramelize. I omitted this step.|
|4||Remove pears and sauce from heat. Place the pears cut side down in the lined tin.|
|5||Pour the sauce over the pears and set aside.|
|6||In an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.|
|7||Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine.|
|8||Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture, and then stir through by hand.|
|9||Spoon the cake mixture over the pears in the tin.|
|10||Bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer in the middle comes out clean. I found the cake took quite a while to set fully in the middle.|
|11||Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.|