Flourless chocolate & pear cake

Flourless chocolate & pear cake

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(56 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Serves 8

A light, but luscious cake made with hazelnuts - serve a slice for dessert with a dollop of crème fraîche

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
334
protein
5g
carbs
28g
fat
23g
saturates
9g
fibre
0g
sugar
28g
salt
0.28g

Ingredients

  • 85g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin
  • 85g golden caster sugar, 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

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Method

  1. 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.
  2. Heat oven to 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.
  3. 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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2008

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Comments

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maitken's picture
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I made this without the pears as I didn’t have any. It was absolutely delicious, much lighter than other flourless chocolate cakes I’ve made and way more moist. It is a winner as we are now gluten free in our house, but, thankfully, not chocolate-free!

estie83's picture

I have just made this cake, in fact its still in the oven at the moment but its looks amazing!
I was a bit nervous about it not rising, having read other comments but it has probably doubled in volume! As long as you are careful with folding the egg whites in, I can't imagine how it could go wrong. I used two loaf tins, sprinkled raspberries over instead of the pear and ommited the brandy. Can't wait to taste it!

estie83's picture

I have just made this cake, in fact its still in the oven at the moment but its looks amazing!
I was a bit nervous about it not rising, having read other comments but it has probably doubled in volume! As long as you are careful with folding the egg whites in, I can't imagine how it could go wrong. I used two loaf tins, sprinkled raspberries over instead of the pear and ommited the brandy. Can't wait to taste it!

Prettydelicious's picture
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Made this recipe with almonds instead of hazelnuts and also added a little salt. Also used tinned pears as it's difficult to get good pears at the moment. A winner in my house!

cakegirl20's picture
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A lovely moist, light and tasty cake! I crushed the hazelnuts (couldn't find ground) so there was some texture in the final product which actually worked really well. I also added the pears 10 minutes in to avoid sinking with no ill-effects. Serving with creme fraiche worked wonderfully.

Yes, the cake wasn't that deep, but this is to be expected for a flourless recipe. The taste and texture was excellent and I shall definitely be making this again.

sassyl's picture
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cake heaven!

kimsimm's picture
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Wow - this is absolutely delicious. I made it with ground almonds and it was superb. I'm sadly wheat intolerant and this was the perfect dessert for me plus everyone else loved it too. I am now searching for other recipes that are wheat free and as delicious.

gray1965's picture
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A great dessert. I used Pecans and vanilla extract in place of hazelnut and brandy and it turned out beautifully

cooking4grandma's picture
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I used tinned pears and added them after cake had been in oven for 10 mins - worked perfectly. Really moist & chocolatey!! I liked the flavour the toasted hazelnuts gave.

kypnut's picture
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Made this for a dinner party was a little disappointed as the pears sunk and i felt the hazelnut was overpowering although everyine ate it!!

laandrews's picture
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Excellent recipe. Light, moist and choclately. I too replaced the hazlenuts with ground almonds and it was still delicious. Will definitely make again.

ncaffrey's picture
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Made this for my coeliac dad - unfortunately it was flat as a pancake when I removed it from the oven! It tasted delicious so I would definitely give it a second try but i'm just wondering where I went wrong. My tin was 23cm and the oven temperature 160 (fan). Any advice from more successful cooks would be much appreciated!!

katycooks's picture
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I think the photo for this was taken from the top for a reason! The thing won't rise. Mine looked just like this too - but only from the top. From the side it looked like a biscuit. I didn't add the pears straight away, but it didnt make any difference, the results were tasty but stodgy. I have cooked and commented on many many recipes here, mostly in a very positive way, but I honestly think there is something wrong with this recipe.

miranda74's picture
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I made this several times, little small cups (as you use for creme brulee) work as well and they look very nice. They tasted great and I probably will make them for tonight as we have guests. Looks impressive, tastes great and little effort!!

evijablue's picture
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So delicious. Even my father-in-law, who does not like desserts, enjoyed it as it isn't so sweet.

rdewinter's picture
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This didn't work for me at all. I followed the instructions to the letter, but it was so bitter we couldn't eat it. It wasn't sweet or chocolaty at all, we ended up throwing it out. Also, the pears sank right to the bottom of the tin.

elainecoili's picture
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So so yummy!

yeuxbleus's picture
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Easy to make. The quality of the pears makes of breaks the cake. Because it is flourless a light cake.

heidimonica's picture
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Seriously, seriously delicious!!! I made a 'sugar free' version substituting the sugar for agave syrup; to counteract the extra liquid the syrup adds, I added extra ground nut flour until it was runny but still able to be 'spooned' into the tin as opposed to be poured in.
I didn't have any hazelnuts but instead I used ground almonds and it was wonderful (can be bought in all supermarkets).

nooli4's picture

I baked this cake for my family and they loved it! They said it was one of the nicest cakes they'd had though they were maybe being polite. ;) Still, it's a great recipe. In terms of the ingredients, I didn't use brandy or replace it with anything and it turned out fine.

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