This 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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Peel, core and chop TWO of the pears into pieces, stir into the cake mix along with the chocolate. Pour into the cake tin.
- Peel, core and thinly slice the remaining pear and arrange the slices on top of the cake.
- 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