Flourless chocolate & pear cake

Flourless chocolate & pear cake

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(61 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins

More effort

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

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal334
  • fat23g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs28g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre0g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.28g
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  • 85g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 85g golden caster sugar, plus extra for tin
  • 85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 tbsp brandy



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 3 egg, separated



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 85g hazelnut, toasted and ground in a food processor



    Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most…

  • 4 very ripe pear, peeled, halved and cored



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

  • icing sugar, for dusting


  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.

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Comments (91)

charlene25's picture

Perfect result....i used tinned pears and dropped a couple of whole hazelnuts in the mixture and it worked out just fine. The cake is not so sweet, which i prefer, and the texture come light with a crispy top.....i m happy :)

katiabh's picture

Made this cake this evening as I had some ripe pears left over. Left out the brandy for my children.
Unfortunately my pears sunk as well and my daughter didn't like the pears. Didn't stop her eating the cake around though.
After reading the other comments, I will try again by adding the pears after 10 min in the oven.
I too didn't have hazelnuts so used ground almond instead. I will also try with raspberries.
Very nice tasty and light cake but the sinking pears made it a bit soggy at the bottom.

Lola_balola's picture

Great recipe. Easy to make. Rises appropriately. Has that slightly odd texture of a gluten free cake but tasty none the less.

misswales013's picture

Delicious! It was so light, it tasted like a mousse! Would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

serendippity's picture

Wonderfully light and very moreish. Made for a coeliac friend but absolutely everyone just loved it!

cawpeanut's picture

Made this for dessert for mother in law with gluten allergies and it was lovely for all concerned! Easy to make and tastes gorgeous! I served with thick cream and popped some raspberries on the plate too!

newcastleunited's picture

Looks like agreat recipe BUT why choose such an awkward size for a cake tine? I have been unable to get a 25cm cake tin of any type. The nearest equivalent is £13.99 and a 23cm square. Why don't recipe writers ever think that many tins are either unobtainable or overtly pricy or both?

maitken's picture

This is a delicious cake, very light for a flour less chocolate. I didnt add pears and honestly didn't miss them. I plan to make many more with this recipe

maitken's picture

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

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

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.

kimsimm's picture

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

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

cooking4grandma's picture

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

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

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

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!!


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