Bittersweet Chocolate & Pear Cake

May 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm (我爱的烘培 Baking) (, , )

May 0910

One of my best friends’ birthdays is tomorrow.

I have informed her hubby I will bake her a cake, so he doesn’t need to get one.

Why did I conclude making her this cake in particular?

Are the pears in season? I saw quite a few varieties when I was doing my groceries shopping in NTUC.  That gave me the idea. Smitten Kitten is one of my fave references. Hence, I went to do a custom google within the site.

Ta-da!

May 0911

Did you notice we are seeing more import of fruits from South Africa?

I bought a bag of Tru Cape’s pears for this recipe.

Al Di La’s Torta di Pere [Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake]
Courtesy of Al Di La Restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn; via Smitten Kitchen

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room-temperature
250g (1 stick)  unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 pears, peeled, in a small dice
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with breadcrumbs (I cheated and used flour), set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick.
  3. While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan (because it will foam a lot) and cook it until the butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.
  4. Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more.
  5. Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to loose volume, turn the mixture down to stir, and add the flour mixture and brown butter. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined — no more than a minute from when the flour is first added — and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume.
  6. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top, and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes [updated, thanks for your responses], or a tester comes out clean.

DSCN9814

Since I used a salted butter, I did not add salt in the dry mixture.

May 093

Mine is a handheld whisker. A good form of exercise for my arms!

May 0912

Love the nutty smell as the butter melted. Keep a watch out of the fire! You want it brown and not burnt.

Brought the result of my first attempt to office for a few friends to sample it.

Phew! They all loved it!

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