The weather around here is windy, like red alert and windows shaking windy. We even had some snow. It didn’t last in Dublin, but I’ve seen some snow falling and that doesn’t happen to often. In this conditions (and I know some of you are in even worse ones) I don’t know how anybody can keep New Year’s resolution. I think we should postpone any of those until the weather gets better. Do you agree?
If you do, please read further, otherwise just close your eyes and leave.
I made this cake for the New Year’s Eve we’ve spent with our friends. This cake is brilliant for any occasions, Sunday coffee, Valentine’s Day, birthday etc. It’s not overly difficult, but the tiny little pear stalks are so cute and the cake is chocolate is heavenly heavy, moist and super indulging.
Almond chocolate pear cake
- 1l water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 5 big pears or 6-7 small ones, peeled and and core scooped out with a spoon, keep the stalks
- 150g dark chocolate
- 50ml Amaretto
- 120g butter
- 120g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 100g ground almond
- 20g plain flour, sifted
- 1 Tbsp cocoa
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 60ml double cream
- 40ml Amaretto
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
Put the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, star anise and lemon juice into a big saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the pears, then cover and simmer for 10-15 mins until the pears are just tender – poke them with a skewer or the tip of a knife.
Take the pears from the pan and let them cool.
Line a 23-cm springform pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan.
Melt the chocolate and Amaretto in a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth. Cool slightly.
In a medium bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in the chocolate mixture.
Stir in ground almonds, flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir until smooth. Pour the mixture to the pan.
Arrange the pears in the pan, they should stand almost touching the bottom of the pan.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean) in a preheated oven.
Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
Heat the cream and Amaretto in a medium pot until it starts to simmer. Remove from the heat. Add in the chopped chocolate. Leave it for a minute to melt.
Stir the chocolate until the mixture is completely smooth.
Let it cool slightly, so it's thicker. Pour over the cooled cake.