Want a yummy Autumn cake recipe? This isn’t just any fruit cake either. Hi, this is Liz from Liz & Jewels and I’m back again with my monthly recipe for decor8 and this time, we’re making chocolate pear cake. Honestly? I don’t like eating pears. Somehow the texture always feels odd to me. What a pity, because when I bought my house and garden a few years ago, I bought it with a whole trellis of fruit trees in my driveway, one of them a pear. I do like it in spring when the buds begin to burst open and light pink flowers appear ever so delicately. I love to watch the bees buzz by and always hope they do a good job dusting the flowers, so that lots of little pears can grow. And when they start growing I’m happy about every one of them. It feels like magic. I’m always startled by what nature can do. I pass the pears all summer, observing, and am reluctant to pick them because I know I’m not a pear-eater. But last weekend it just had to be done.
I couldn’t leave them there any longer, otherwise the wasps would have eaten them all, so I went out and harvested, with mixed feelings. Every time it’s time to pick fruit, it becomes so obvious that summer is over. And so it was — the weather had changed rapidly from really hot to uncomfortably cold in just a few days. It was drizzling, grey and wet. I didn’t want to give them away because I only had 6 pears this year and they were precious. Homegrown food always leaves me with a little feeling of pride.
Back in the kitchen, I was feeling ambitious, wanting to make something really delicious with the pears I had nourished all summer long. Maybe combining them with something I really like would do the trick? What about chocolate?! While baking my cake I listened to some slightly blue, moody music and said goodbye to summer. I guess that’s why my pictures turned out a bit darker than usual this time. But now: Autumn, I’m ready for you! My opinion about pears is starting to change. Tucked into this delicious, moist chocolate cake …. they’re really lovely!
Chocolate Pear Cake
4 cups water
5 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
juice of 1/2 lemon
6 pears, peeled and cored
7 oz dark chocolate (70%)
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
How to: In a pot, combine water, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add the pears and let them simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pears and drain on a rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter, set aside. In another pot, combine chocolate and butter and let them melt at a very low heat. Stir often until chocolate and butter are melted. Allow to cool for a bit.
In a bowl, mix sugar and eggs using the mixer until fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and stir. Mix in the almonds, flour, baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Pour a bit of the dough into the loaf pan. Place the pears on the dough and carefully add the rest of the dough until the pears are completely surrounded. Bake for 50 minutes. Cover the top with aluminium foil so that the top doesn’t burn. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Enjoy! I’ll see you in October with another lovely treat. See you soon! –Liz
(photography, styling, text: Lisa Nieschlag/Liz & Jewels)