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!