Find out how to make a fudgy chocolate cake with juicy pears that everyone will be keen to tuck into. This chocolate pear upside-down cake is easy to make and you can use, fresh, poached or tinned pears. All ways are good. Serve hot with custard as a delicious autumnal pudding or at room temperature as a cake for afternoon tea.
In this post, Harvest Festival meets Random Recipes meets Clandestine Cake Club. As we had a hard challenge for August, Dom has gone easy on us this month and it’s back to the basics of picking a random book from our collection and then a random recipe from that book.
I used my usual Eat Your Books method of selection and came up with a recipe for a simple chocolate pear upside-down cake in Jennifer Donovan’s book Chocolate.
Happily this pick coincided with a Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club gathering on Thursday where the theme was harvest festival. And to tie it all together in a nice little bundle, my mother turned up with a jar of pears that she’d just poached. All sorted.
Chocolate Pear Upside-Down Cake
This chocolate pear upside-down cake is made with quite a lot of real chocolate, so it’s both fudgy and chocolatey. The notes of cardamom, if you care to use it, and the pears are a nice foil. They stop the cake from being too sweet and sickly. It is, in fact, a most delicious cake and one I shall be repeating. The good folk at cake club certainly enjoyed it.
I had to add my own twist of course, so apart from using poached pears rather than raw ones, I substituted vanilla for cardamom. I also used a mix of half wholemeal and half white flour as I’m always keen to add some nutritious roughage where I can.
Clandestine Cake Club
The harvest festival theme resulted in a bounty of fruit and vegetable cakes. The cake shown below completely stole the show, but they were all very tasty and yes, I did manage to try a piece of each!
Our venue was an independent wine merchant with accompanying champagne and coffee bar, Bin Two in Padstow. Turned out some of the participants were much more interested in the wine than they were in the cake. The shop included a cafe bar, so we all crowded in and got up close and cosy. Thanks as always to Ellie Mitchell for organising another splendid cakey gathering.
Bin Two were hosting a Macmillan Coffee Morning the following day, so I also brought along a few oaty ginger biscuits. These were quite fiery as they were not only flavoured with ground ginger but included crystallised ginger too. CT got almost grumpy when he was only allowed to try one.
Other Harvest Festival Cakes You Might Like
- Chocolate pecan pumpkin cake
- Irish apple cake
- Jerusalem artichoke cake with lemon cream cheese icing
- Plum upside-down cake
- Sticky ginger apple cakes
- Toffee apple hazelnut cake
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this chocolate pear upside-down cake with or without the cardamom, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate it. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more pear recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have a few. All delicious, of course.
Chocolate Pear Upside-Down Cake. PIN IT.
Chocolate Pear Upside-Down Cake – The Recipe
Chocolate Pear Upside-Down Cake
- 200 g salted butter
- 200 g dark 70% chocolate – broken into pieces
- 150 g golden caster sugar (I used cardamom sugar)
- 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 3 cardamom pods – seeds removed and ground with a pestle and morter (I used 3 drops of the excellent Holy Lama cardamom extract)
- 120 g self-raising flour (half wholemeal, half white) or use plain flours with 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 3 firm but ripe pears – peeled, cored and quartered can use fresh, poached or tinned
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a large saucepan over a gentle heat.
- Stir in the sugar, take off the heat and leave to cool a little.
- Beat in the eggs, one by one along with 1 drop of the excellent Holy Lama cardamom extract (or the ground seeds from 1-3 cardamom pods, depending on how subtle you want the flavour).
- Sift in the flours and baking powder if using and stir gently until just combined.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar over the base of a 23cm (9″) round silicon mould or lined cake tin. Make sure it’s not a loose bottomed one or you might find more of your cake mixture on the floor of your oven than in the cake tin.
- Lay the 12 pear quarters on top of the sugar then pour the cake batter over the top.
- Bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 30 minutes until just done.
- Leave to cool for about ten minutes, then turn the cake upside down onto a serving plate.
So this is another success I put down to Dom and his Random Recipes over at Belleau Kitchen. It’s such a fun and interesting challenge. Well, most of the time anyway!
I had a bit of a dilemma trying to decide which of this month’s seasonal recipes should be sent to Simple and in Season. And that’s because there’s just been so many good ones. But despite the rather prosaic nature of pear after the colours and flavours of blackberry and plum, this cake deserves recognition. Nazima of Franglais Kitchen is hosting this month on behalf of Ren Behan.