Flourless chocolate & pear cake

Flourless chocolate & pear cake

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(62 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 (93)

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!!

katycooks's picture

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

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

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

rdewinter's picture

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

So so yummy!

yeuxbleus's picture

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

heidimonica's picture

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.

boots22's picture

I made this cake with no problems but I used powdered Almonds. It was for a dinner party, they all loved it. The guests were French and all ate second portions!!!!

michellemykytka's picture

lovely cake!! Didn't whisk egg whites enough so pears sank but still very nice.

alessandra75's picture

I made it yeasterday! It has a very good taste, but the texture was quite crumbly!

chrisgalea's picture

Excellent! I tried it out because of coelic guest but everybody wanted a second helping. I used tinned pears and it still worked out well.

inchgall's picture

I made this last night for a dinner guest who is gluten free. it was so easy and simple to make. The cake is moist and light and went really well with some clotted cream. I would make this again! Highly recommended

karen230674's picture

I have made this receipe with both hazelnuts and almonds. I made it for a friend and she thought it was delicious. It's great to actually find a gluten free cake that looks nice and tastes beautiful. Really moist cake. Great with cream or custard or on it's own ;) x

ilovepuddings's picture

I made this recipe last night without nuts and i doubled the ingredients as i had very large pears and tin. It turned out very well, rose well with a good consistancy looked lovely dusted with icing sugar and i used a dollop of whipped cream instead of creme fraiche, very happy with the result of this recipe.

fritz76's picture

nothing so far ! have to wait until my son goes shopping next time !
we seem to eat the pears more often than not !
the recipe is truly SUPER.

best regards to you all

thank you , fritz76

carrand's picture

Had friends around for a meal and made this cake for dessert, served it warm with creme fraiche.
Easy to make cake and can make in advance and re-warm, great texture, light and chocolatey and absolutely non left.

All our friends asked for recipe. Iwill definately be making this one again.

jessheron's picture

I made this with ground almonds instead of the hazlenuts and it was amazing! I'll try it with hazlenuts next time. :)


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