This is simply a chocolate flavoured sponge mixture studded with lumps of chocolate and topped with pear slices. Eaten warm, the chocolate is still molten and provides an interesting contrast in texture. Serve with cold whipped cream for maximum delight!
Use more pears if you have them - I was using the last of my neighbour's windfall gift and would have been happier with a few more slices to strew around. These pears were very ripe by the time I got round to using them - if they were still hard I would have poached them gently first.
3-4 ripe Conference pears, peeled, cored and sliced ino 6-8 slices depending on size. Hold the prepared pears in acidulated water to prevent browning. (As mentioned above, poach in sugar syrup until soft, if not ripe enough)
150g butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing pan
150g caster sugar
180g SR flour
3 large eggs
150g plain chocolate (I used 85%)
milk to mix, as necessary
Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 9" (22cm) ovenprooof dish or skillet with butter, if not non-stick.
Chop the chocolate roughly and reserve about a quarter of the pieces for toppoing - I picked out the larger pieces.
Put all the ingredients except the pears and chopped chocolate into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well blended, adding a tablespoon or two of milk, if necessary, to give a dropping consistency.
Fold in the larger portion of the chocolate pieces, then transfer the batter to the baking dish, levelling the surface.
Drain the pear slices and arrange on top, then dot the reserved chunks of chocolate between the pear slices.
Bake for around 30-40 minutes, or until the cake mixture is dry when tested with a probe.
Serve while still quite warm, or cover and reheat in a low oven when needed.