Flourless chocolate & pear cake

Flourless chocolate & pear cake

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(67 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
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-lit

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 1 tbsp brandy



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

  • 3 eggs, 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 pears, 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, questions and tips

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18th May, 2013
This is a bit of a faff. I will do this on occasions such as Xmas or Easter but it will not become an every month feature unless it works with my cheating ways! I try these recipes with whole eggs whisked well and most of them are successful and so I will once again, outrage any chefs out there but I am not one and I need time not kudos. It is not my career path. Ordinary mortals simply wish to produce reasonably decorative but infinitely palatable food. Sorry chefs!
21st Apr, 2013
A great pud and very easy! I think the tin size is important on here...I'm glad I read the previous reviews, got a 25" tin and used a paper liner and it was divine...smooth, rich, chocolatey and delicious!
2nd Jan, 2013
I needed a gluten free pudding so tried this. It was fab and I now make even when I don't need a gluten free recipe. I use ground almonds instead of hazelnuts and I replaced the brandy with ameretto. It is a lovely light dessert and everyone has always loved it.
2nd Jan, 2013
Fantastic recipe. Very easy to make and extremely light and tasty. Used tinned pears which worked really well.
9th Dec, 2012
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 :)
13th Nov, 2012
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.
2nd Nov, 2012
Great recipe. Easy to make. Rises appropriately. Has that slightly odd texture of a gluten free cake but tasty none the less.
6th Oct, 2012
Delicious! It was so light, it tasted like a mousse! Would definitely recommend giving this one a try.
20th Jul, 2012
Wonderfully light and very moreish. Made for a coeliac friend but absolutely everyone just loved it!
16th Jul, 2012
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!


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