- 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 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
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.
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.
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.