Aug 5, 2009

Pear and Chocolate Cake


The key to this cake is the brown butter. It takes a few minutes to brown, but it's well worth the extra effort. The recipe recommends using a springform pan, but I don't see why this couldn't be baked in a normal cake pan and then sliced up, as long as you don't try to take it out of the pan whole. This cake would be great with a scoop of ice cream or some sweetened whipped cream, although it was delicious with just a glass of milk too.

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2-3 softish pears, peeled, diced
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick.

3. While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.

4. Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more. Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to lose volume, turn the mixture down to stir, and add the flour mixture and brown butter. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined—no more than a minute from when the flour is first added—and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume.

5. Pour into pan. Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top (don't worry, they'll sink in as it bakes), and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen via Dinner Party.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm. So my question is do you think it could be made with any other fruit as well? My boys aren't huge on the pears. I, of course, could eat it with a spoon, I'm sure. :)