Pear, Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate Cake

Pear and hazelnut cake 3This is an all time favourite cake of my fiancée and mine. It is perfect for autumn and winter with all of the delicious pears around. It is a very earthy cake and isn’t overly sweet like a lot of cakes can be. It will lift your spirits on a cold, wet, drizzly day, especially if eaten with a mug of hot chocolate.

Pear in desserts is usually matched with almonds (which is amazing) however it is nice to have a change and use hazelnuts instead. The hazelnuts are roasted before they are used and as a result have a very strong flavour within the cake rather than being lost, which can happen very easily. You will need a food processor for this recipe in order to grind the hazelnuts once they have been roasted.

Pear and hazelnut cake 2Pear and hazelnut cake 1Pear and hazelnut cake 4

In Norway all of these ingredients are readily available which is fantastic. I usually buy all of my fruit and vegetables from the Mathallen Food Hall in Oslo, they have a fantastic selection of fruit and vegetables. I spend a lot of time in the food hall as it has many other fantastic shops and places to eat.

Hazelnut, Pear and Dark Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  •  100g/4oz blanched hazelnuts
  • 140g/5oz self-raising flour
  • 175g/6oz butter
  • 140g/5oz golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ripe conference pears
  • 100g/4oz dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC and line a 20cm/18in round cake tin. Place the hazelnuts on a tray and roast for 10-15 minutes until or until golden.
  2. Once the hazelnuts are roasted and have cooled slightly, grind them in a food processor until fine. Add the flour and mix briefly then add the butter and mix until it forms crumbs. Add the sugar and eggs and mix until it forms a cake batter.
  3. Peel, core and chop TWO of the pears into pieces, stir into the cake mix along with the chocolate. Pour into the cake tin.
  4. Peel, core and thinly slice the remaining pear and arrange the slices on top of the cake.
  5. Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 45 minutes (depends greatly on how juicy the pears are). Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.

Enjoy! H x

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