RECIPE: Rich Chocolate & Pear Cake
Tried and tested seasonal recipes from our country cookery school kitchen. As well as hacks and get ahead tips for EVERY cook.
A deliciously rich cake which makes a teatime treat or can be served warm with cream for pudding.
Pudding or Teatime
Prepare 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
Total 1 hour 35 mins
- 75g cacao powder – if you cannot find cacao then opt for the best non-alkalised cocoa powder that is available.
- 3 medium free range eggs
- 150g butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk
To glaze and serve:
- Two tablespoons apple jelly or sieved apricot jam
- Double cream, mascarpone, creme fraiche or ricotta
Preheat conventional stove to 160 C or Gas Mark 3.
2-oven AGA place grid shelf on the floor of roasting oven, pop a trivet inside of your AGA cake baker, replace the lid and pop inside on to the grid shelf.
3 and 4-oven AGA slide grid shelf on to bottom set of runners. Ensure plain shelf is cold in readiness to slide over the cake when you put it in the oven.
5-oven DC or TC AGA check temperature for baking oven and adjust as necessary if set to slumber.
Butter a 20 cm loose bottomed cake tin and line with baking parchment. In a stand mixer or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, until it is pale, light and fluffy.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and cacao together.
One at a time, crack the eggs and add to the creamed butter mixture along with a heaped tablespoon of the sieved flour. Gently fold into the creamed butter and sugar. Once all of the eggs are added, fold the remaining dry ingredients into the batter.
Add the milk and gently fold in.
Spread half of the cake mix into the bottom of your prepared tin. Make sure that the mixture covers the base in an even layer.
Reserve the neatest pear slices. Then spread a generous layer of pears on top of the cake mixture.
Cover the pears with another even layer of cake mix and then decorate the top with the reserved pears.
Cook in the oven for approximately an hour, check and adjust as necessary. This type of cake will usually need another 15 – 20 minutes cooking time, but it will depend on your oven. See AGA cooking tips*
To check that the cake is cooked through, insert a skewer into the middle. When this is removed, it should be clean and free of cake mix. If necessary continue baking for another five minutes and check again.
When the cake is done, remove from the oven and cool in the tin for five minutes.
When the tin is cool enough to handle, carefully remove the cake to serve. Or place the cake on a rack and cool completely, before storing in an airtight tin.
If you like, measure crab apple jelly or sieved apricot jam in a pan and place over low heat (or in AGA simmering oven) to warm gently. Using a pastry brush, gently apply the preserve to evenly glaze the pears.
Serve with pouring cream, ricotta, mascarpone flavoured with amaretto or crème fraiche.
- Pears that are slightly under ripe are ideal for baking. This recipe will work equally as well with apples, plums, raspberries or blackberries.
- If you are baking your cake in an AGA select a heavy duty baking tin ideally anodised aluminium rather than a light coloured thin tin that will absorb the heat too quickly.
- This cake will freeze well and keep for three months. If you have the time, make two and once it is cold, wrap the second for the freezer.
- The cake will not store well at room temperature, so if you are not going to serve it straight away, keep in the fridge or a cool larder overnight.
- Gently warm the cake in the oven or take time to bring it back to room temperature before you serve it.
- If you are using the AGA baking oven, remember to slide the cold, plain shelf over the cake approximately 30 minutes from the start of baking. If you feel you may forget, it is possible to insert the shelf at the time of baking but the cake may not rise as well.
- If you have a loose bottomed cake tin, slide this on to a plain baking sheet to bake the cake.