This cake is so easy to make. I was surprised it turned out so light. It really has a great texture, which is different than most other flourless cakes I’ve made. The cake is chocolatey without being overwhelmingly so. My pears sank a bit, but that did really matter to me. If you are more of a perfectionist when it comes to your desserts, make sure to whip the egg whites well to prevent sinking. I let mine sit a bit and had to re-whip them.
If you need a quick, last minute dessert for a Christmas or Hanukkah dinner, you probably have most of these ingredients on hand already. The cake would be just as good with or without the pears, so don’t worry about them if you don’t have them.You could definitely substitute almonds for the hazelnuts or apples or even canned pears for the fresh pears depending on what you have on hand. I would definitely use this recipe again with and without the pears for a simple and fast flourless cake. I only added powdered/confectioners sugar and freshly whipped cream for serving and it was perfect.
Flourless Chocolate & Pear Cake (from BBCGoodFood.com)
- 85g butter/roughly 1/3 cup, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin
- 85g golden caster sugar/roughly 2/3 cup, plus extra for tin
- 85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 3 eggs, separated
- 85g hazelnuts, toasted and ground in a food processor
- 4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
- icing sugar , for dusting
- Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.
- Heat oven to 350F/180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick; fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.
- In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you’ll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down. Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.