Dark chocolate flourless pear cake

Move over milk, dark chocolate is taking centre stage gloriously rich yet light flourless cake. ‘Paired’ with ripe pears and toasted hazelnuts, it’s the ultimate chocolate fix and has plenty of fruit and nut flavour.

Preparation time

1 hour 10 mins

Makes

12

Ingredients

  • 180g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 180g dark chocolate (we like Tony’s Chocolonely 70% dark chocolate), broken into chunks
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 5 Respectful eggs, separated
  • 120g light brown sugar
  • 75g hazelnuts, toasted and 50g ground finely in food processor, 25g left roughly chopped
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 2 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • Greek yogurt, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm round springform cake tin.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl along with a pinch of salt over a saucepan of just simmering water. When smooth and completely melted remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool slightly for 5 mins.
  3. Place the egg yolks and light brown sugar in a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for around 5 mins, until thick and pale. Pour in the chocolate mix and the ground hazelnuts and fold to combine.
  4. In another large bowl whisk the egg whites along with the caster sugar for 5 mins until soft glossy peaks.
  5. Spoon a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, gently folding to combine. Repeat with the remaining thirds of egg whites in two more additions, gently folding again until no streaks of egg whites remain.
  6. Pour into the prepared cake tin and top with the sliced pear. Bake for 40-45 mins, until risen, the top will crack and sink a little but don’t worry. Cool completely in the tin before removing.
  7. Serve alongside Greek yogurt, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.

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