January 28, 2008
This cake was a troublesome one to bake! Maybe I just don’t have enough patience, but I’m still undecided about whether I would make it again. It’s a really nice cake, light and fresh, and perhaps that outweighs the trouble I had in preparing it.
Lining a springform pan with parchment paper is not fun. Trying to spread very thick and stiff batter in the lined pan is not fun. But it all worked out in the end, and that’s even with using the wrong size of pan; recipe calls for an 8-inch, I only had a 9-inch. The cake took slightly less baking time, and was probably a bit flatter than it should’ve been
But it was still quite tasty. The chocolate flakes bring a lot of sweetness, and the layer of pear adds moisture and a refreshing quality to the make. I especially like the frosting; almost fondant-like, the lemon is the perfect flavour to compliment the pear and chocolate.
Iced Pear-Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Makes 8 – 10 servings
1½ sticks butter, softened
¾ cups superfine sugar (I used regular granulated sugar and ground with a stone mortar and pestle)
3 large eggs
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
4 ounces (4 squares) semisweet chocolate, finely grated (I put the chocolate in a food processor)
1 can (14-ounce) pear halves in syrup
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I ended up having to double the frosting recipe, so, two cups sugar)
2-4 teaspoons lemon juice (and 5-8 teaspoons lemon juice; I stopped measuring after a while because it was tough to get it to the right consistency)
Chocolate sprinkles, to garnish (I used some of my food-processed chocolate squares)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform cake pan. Line the base and side with parchment paper.
2. Beat the butter and superfine sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon or electric beater until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, 1 at a time, with 1 teaspoon flour, beating well after each addition.
3. Mix the vanilla extract with 1 tablespoon cold water and beat into the creamed mixture. Gradually fold in the remaining flour, baking powder, salt, and the grated chocolate until blended.
4. Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread level. Drain the pears and dry on paper towels. Cut into slices and arrange on the top of the batter in the pan. Spoon the remaining batter over the top and spread level.
5. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool.
6. Mix the confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice until smooth (add the lemon juice into small increments and beat well after each addition). Spread on top of cake. Sprinkle the chocolate on top. Let frosting set about 2 hours, then serve