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)

ashstar115's picture

i really liked this recipe, infact i think it fantastic! i used almonds instead of hazulnuts and it worked purfectly. thanks barney!!!

dolsi1's picture

I should add that I cut the pear on 8 pieces. And eat cake with ice-cream.

dolsi1's picture

I liked this cake very much! It is very chocolate and gentle, so for me this is very good, because I like the chocolate much.

buell8abe's picture

It's a stormer, barney! Fun and easy to make, beautifully light and delicious every time. Perfect with tea, or as a light chocolate treat after dinner. Will be making this one again for sure. Many thanks for a fab recipe!

janbomyers's picture

Delicious! Made with almonds instead of hazelnuts, and apples instead of pears. Great for gluten free friends.

grainger's picture

I made this for dessert for a dinner party, and everyone commented how chocolatey, moist and delicious the cake was. I didn't have hazelnuts, so substituted them for almonds and served with mixed autumn berries and fresh cream. This will definitely be on our chalets' menu.

linkevica's picture

lovely cake. perfect for girl night.

anniejansen's picture

Delicious and beautiful! I swapped the hazelnuts for almonds, and it worked perfect.

littlemisshappy145's picture

My first ever recipe of good food to go wrong :(
It was very dry and the pears sunk, i used good quality chocolate but it was not as chocolatey as i had hoped. Wondering whether i should have another attmept as everyone else seems to really rate it!

yankee's picture

Brilliant result!! My son has a wheat allergy and it is difficult sometimes to give him a treat, this really hits the spot!

lucycripps's picture

I have a fatal nut allergy so this wouldn't work!! I'm going to try it with oats instead of hazelnuts.

tobyjug3's picture

Is it possible to make this cake without the nuts as have to cater for nut allergies?

izysticklee's picture

absolutely delicious!


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