Rich Chocolate and Pear Cake

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

This recipe came to be as an experiment after trying a simple apple and walnut cake at my friend’s house a few weeks back. The cake was perfect but as we have 100s of pears from our tree at this moment I wanted to create a pear version of it. Simple swapping the apples for pears and losing the nuts wasn’t going to cut it as the pears are so juicy, so I baked and baked until I achieved the perfect chocolate and pear cake, which is quick and super easy to make.

The cake is very chocolaty and indulgent. I used both dark chocolate and raw unsweetened cocoa powder. The taste of your cake will depend on the quality of these two ingredients, so please have it in mind whilst out shopping. I have found through my baking that some cakes are much more forgiving about swaps than others are. I tried to bake it with drinking chocolate instead of the raw cocoa but it simply doesn’t work, you can taste that something is off… also, I found using milk chocolate instead of a dark one is also a no go… the cake really becomes way too sweet.

Total time: 1h

Baking time: 35min

Serves: arguably 9 large portions

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

Ingredients:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 3 medium-size ripe pears
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tbsp raw unsweetened cocoa
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Line with baking paper one 8”x8” brownie baking tray.

In a small saucepan over very low heat melt the butter. Once melted add the chocolate and stir making sure it is totally melted and combined then set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; add a pinch of salt and mix well.

Wash, peel, core and then chop the pears into 1cm x 1cm cubes, then pop them into the bowl of dry ingredients mix and gently stir so that all the pear pieces are coated evenly.

In another small bowl beat the eggs; then add the vanilla essence and beat some more. Add this mixture to the cooled down butter and chocolate mixture and stir well until fully combined.

Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and with a silicone spatula gently mix until everything is combined and forms an even mass. You are after the texture of your cake being similar to a cookie dough – firm and pliable.

Move your mixture into the earlier prepared baking tray and again using a silicon spatula spread out the mix till it is even and flat then pop into the oven.

Bake at 180C for around 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tray to cool completely.

Enjoy!

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

The Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake

In celebration of #EvenBetterBaking competition, Dr. Oetker has challenged me to bake my own version of their Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake. They provided me with a baking hamper so I could get to work almost straight away 🙂

The original recipe sounded great and it looked even better but as I am trying to get my eating habits under control I wanted to come up with a more diet friendly version of it…

I decided to replace the rich chocolate cake with a light fat free cocoa based angel cake and the indulgent fudge layer with… well… chocolate-less chocolate cream, which is actually made entirely from superfoods.

I called my creation the Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake.

The Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate CakeIngredients:

For the cake:

For the drizzle:

  • 75ml strong coffee; sweetened

For the cream:

  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 5tbsp natural honey
  • 3tbsp good quality cocoa powder

Method:

Prepare 3 standard sized, round baking tins by greasing the bottom part or lining it with baking paper. Do not the cover sides.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, make sure that all the ingredients are well mixed.

Separate the eggs and put all the whites into large bowl.

Use your mixer and start beating them. You want to achieve stiff whites but be careful not to overbeat them.

Once the whites are starting to form peaks slowly add the sugar, a spoonful at a time and keep your mixer running.

When all the sugar is incorporated you should have super stiff glossy whites, just as you would if preparing for meringues; now turn your mixer down a notch and add the yolks; one by one but still mixing.

Add the vanilla essence, mix for five seconds and then stop the mixer.

Now comes the hard part – gently fold your dry ingredients being flour, baking powder and cocoa into your mixture. Be very careful not to over mix it; fold it gently and try not to mess around with it for too long.

Split the mixture between the three baking trays and pop in to the oven for around 20 – 25 minutes.

Once you can smell your cake all over the house it most likely means that it is ready. Check with a toothpick and if it comes out clean and dry then it is definitely done, turn your oven off and remove the cakes.

Now, something you might not expect… take each tin and drop it on the floor (you need a hard solid floor not the lino or carpet) from a 30-40cm height. Don’t be scared nothing bad will happen.

Put the cakes aside and allow them to cool.

Prepare your drizzle – 75ml strong coffee and some sugar, sweetener, honey… whatever you fancy using to make it sweet – I used 1tsp of Stevia based sweetener. Put it aside and let it cool.

Time to make the magic chocolate-less chocolate cream: in a food processor place the avocados (with no stone and skin… just to be sure), cocoa powder and honey; then mix until you have totally smooth paste. Do not add water or any other liquids – use the pulse option and the ingredients will combine eventually.

Check on your cakes; once they have cooled down it is time to get building…

Remove each cake from the tin and trim theirs top if needed. I needed to trim two – the bottom and middle layers in order to achieve an even level cake and left the top one as it come from the oven.

Once the cakes are trimmed, use your drizzle mixture and drizzle it all over your cakes – remember to turn the top layer of the cake the other way over and drizzle it from the bottom.

Place the bottom cake on a cake stand and spread half of your chocolate-less cream on top of it; repeat with the middle layer; then cover with the top one and sprinkle with a little bit of icing sugar just to finish the look.

Well, that’s all! We are done.

My Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake #EvenBetterBakingThe Ultimate Chocolateless Chocolate Cake #EvenbetterbakingThe Ultimate Chocolate-less Chocolate Cake #EvenbetterbakingThis is my bake for #EvenBetterBaking competition – I’ve turned a luxurious chocolate oozing cake into its healthy alternative. My cake contains no fat (well if we don’t count what’s in the avocados but those are the good fats), it is fairly low in sugar (depending on what sweetener you chose for the drizzle) and it looks just as good as a proper chocolate cake and tastes just as awesome!

Bake with Dr. Oetker to win!

Send your bakes that you have made using Dr. Oetker products and tell them what inspired you to make it with #Evenbetterbaking.

Each week Dr. Oetker will pick a Star Baker who will win a goodie bag, and entry into their prize draw to win an Ultimate Baking Hamper worth £500.

To keep up to date with all the latest Even Better Baking news, follow Dr. Oetker on Twitter @DrOetkerBakes, on YouTube DrOetkerBaking or like them on Facebook.

So, what do you think?

Do you like my creation?

Will you be entering #EvenBetterBaking competition in hope of becoming a Star Baker?

Double Chocolate and Cherry Cake

Last Sunday I decided to combine my love for chocolate and fruit and as a result I created a double chocolate and cherry cake.

My Double Chocolate and Cherry CakeI have to admit my first cake didn’t work out so well. The mixture was fine but the temperature of the oven was way too high resulting in a burnt top and a seriously undercooked middle… so I tried again… I changed my ingredients mix a little, used a shallow tray instead of a loaf tin and of course lowered the baking temperature… all the changes worked perfectly and as a result we had extra yummy chocolate and cherry cake 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp coco powder
  • 50g pitted cherries
  • 50g dark chocolate; crushed
  • 50g white chocolate (optional for decoration)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 140C fan (160C if your oven is not fan assisted).

Grease and line one 9”x11” brownie type tin.

Cherries for Double Chocolate and Cherry CakeHalf your cherries and make sure there is no remaining stones.

Chocolate for Double Chocolate and Cherry CakeBreak up the dark chocolate into small chunks or just like I do cut it roughly with a heavy sharp knife.

In a large bowl sift and mix together all the dry ingredients being: flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder.

Add the softened butter and eggs– mix all the ingredients until combined and smooth.

Add your cherries and dark chocolate and mix gently.

Pour into your earlier prepared tin.

Bake in the centre of your pre-heated oven for 30-35min till risen and nicely browned, you can always check it is fully cooked by inserting a wooden toothpick or skewer and if it comes out clean then it is done.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool down.

Melt 50g off white chocolate and decorate your cake with a desired pattern with a small piping bag. I am quite rubbish when it comes to cake decorating so I wasn’t even able to achieve straight lines 🙁

Cut, serve and enjoy! Or optionally hide it and pretend it didn’t bake as well as it should have so you can eat it all by yourself later on, you will be full and happy but will not make many friends, your call.

Double Chocolate and Cherry CakeAny idea what cake should I bake next?

I am thinking coconut as I have just bought a giant bag of coconut flakes but I am open to your suggestions.

Yum

Chocolate, Fudge and Espresso Coffee Drizzle Cake

Chocolate, Fudge and Espresso Coffee Drizzle Cake

Today I have for you a new development in my drizzle cake collection. Stepping back away from the fruits theme for a while I’ve decided to experiment with coffee 🙂 I believe like most of you that chocolate and coffee go well together so it was the perfect starting point for my new cake.

Rummaging through my kitchen cupboards I came across a bag of fudge chunks; they were exactly what I was looking for – a perfect addition to the chocolate and coffee which I had already set my mind on.

So here you go…

I present you my Chocolate, Fudge and Espresso Coffee Drizzle Cake.

My Chocolate, Fudge and Espresso Coffee Drizzle Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp coco powder (I used Bournville)
  • 1tbs chocolate shavings
  • 1tsp coffee essence
  • Handful of Mini Fudge Chunks (I used ones made by Silver Spoon)
  • Icing sugar for decoration (optional)

For the espresso drizzle:

  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 50ml good quality extra strong made espresso

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan.

Grease one 8” loaf tin (lining is an option if you are skilled at such things).

In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients being: flour, sugar, cocoa, chocolate shavings and baking powder.

Add the softened butter, eggs and coffee essence – mix all ingredients until combined and smooth.

Pour into your earlier prepared loaf tin.

Once you mix is in the tin sprinkle your mixture with mini fudge chunks and push them down ever so slightly with a spoon, they will sink some more during the early stages of the cooking so should end up somewhere near the middle of the cake 😉

Bake in the centre of your pre-heated oven for 35-40min.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Prepare your drizzle by mixing the sugar with the 50ml of espresso. “Stab” your cake repeatedly with a toothpick or skewer and then slowly drizzle it with your mixture allowing it to soak in deep inside the cake.

Let it cool completely.

Sprinkle icing sugar on top to give it a professional finished look (and cover the holes you made earlier).

Cut, serve and enjoy!

Chocolate, Fudge & Espresso Coffee Drizzle Cake

I am actually really proud of my cake. It ended up being really something, if I don’t mind saying so myself. My cake, once baked, had quite a big crack in the middle, which means that most of my espresso drizzle ended up in the middle of the cake. This ended up being a huge advantage taste wise. The cake had these nice layers of flavour; the sides were very chocolaty whilst the middle was predominantly coffee flavoured due to the drizzle; in addition every now and then you could bite into sweet gooey half melted fudgy goodness… I have to admit – my new cake came out to be a roaring success.

Yum