Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Pear, Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake

The recipe for this seasonal cake was inspired by this one from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage. I left out the orange zest (because I didn't have an orange handy), used hazelnuts instead of almonds and added 100g coarsely chopped dark chocolate. At this time of year we are foraging for hazelnuts and also had some pears from our neighbour's tree, so this cake really was a reflection of Autumn flavours.


Inevitably, the batter shrank away from the pears as the cake cooled after baking. This detracted a bit from the looks, but not the taste of the cake. I'm glad I added the extra chocolate chunks - it really boosted the chocolate content (25g of cocoa in this amount of cake batter is not a lot) and flavour.

The cooking juices from the pears must be cooked down to only a few tablespoons; any more and I think it would have created problems with too much liquid on top of the cake - as it was, it made me worry that the cake wasn't going to set properly, as the top looked very gloopy right up to the end of the cooking time. Using the juice didn't seem to much to the flavour - I guess that's where using the orange zest would have made a difference. Noted for next time!


6 comments:

Alicia Foodycat said...

Paul Hollywood always whinges about a lack of flavour in pears in Bake Off! But this has inspired me to go pick some of the pears on our tree.

Suelle said...

I think, in general, that Paul has a fair point, but here the pears are in large pieces and one layer, so you can still taste them!

belleau kitchen said...

oooh, pears and chocolate... I love this combo. I always pan fry my pears in butter first to bring out the flavour. lovely!

Choclette Blogger said...

You'd think the chocolate would make up for lack of pear flavour, but as you say Suelle 25g of cocoa is not going to do that. Your hazelnut addition was inspired though. Our hazels were so laden this year, we were delighted, until we found one day not a single one left on any of the trees. Not squirrels but pesky birds :(

Phil in the Kitchen said...

One of the reasons that I love this time of year is ripe pears and combine them with chocolate and I'm very, very happy. Sounds lovely. I've never thought that pears lack flavour - maybe I'm just very pear-sensitive.

Snowy said...

Love the combination of pears and chocolate; they go so well together. Like the addition of hazelnuts.