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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20th Oct, 2011
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.
12th Oct, 2011
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!!
6th Oct, 2011
Excellent recipe. Light, moist and choclately. I too replaced the hazlenuts with ground almonds and it was still delicious. Will definitely make again.
2nd Oct, 2011
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
12th Sep, 2011
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.
13th Aug, 2011
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!!
22nd Jun, 2011
So delicious. Even my father-in-law, who does not like desserts, enjoyed it as it isn't so sweet.
22nd Jun, 2011
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.
15th Jun, 2011
So so yummy!
10th Jun, 2011
Easy to make. The quality of the pears makes of breaks the cake. Because it is flourless a light cake.


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