Don’t Think Twice

… cause it’s all right! All hail, Bob Dylan, you are The King!

2016-06-17-12-08-07Anyway back to normal business. My Chocolate Pear Cake, with its off-piste variations, worked out really well. So well, in fact, that it all got eaten before I remembered to take a photo! Let me describe it to you … round, 20cm diameter, 5cm high; rustic or, as Mary Berry would say, informal; dark brown as in chocolatey, not as in burnt. As if! In fact I thought it would turn out raw inside because I mistimed it all and had to switch off the oven 10 minutes before it was due to finish cooking. I left it in there and went back later and lo! perfectly cooked cake. ‘Perfect’ being a subjective quality of course.

As noted in last post, this is based on a recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘Fruit’ book but I made certain amendments based on what I had available at the time. Here’s the recipe as I made it:


Peel, quarter and core 4 pears. Melt 35g butter in a frying pan and add 2 tbsp. soft brown sugar, and a tsp of crushed coriander seeds. Let it all meld together a bit then add the pears and let them cook gently for a few minutes till tender. Set aside.

Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Combine 100g toasted ground hazelnuts, 100g self-raising flour, and 25g cocoa powder. Set aside.

Beat 150g softened butter with 150g caster sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in 2 large free-range eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of the nut mix with each, then fold in the rest of the nut mix with a metal spoon. Stir in a tablespoon or two of milk to give a soft, dropping consistency.

Spread the mix in the prepared tin and arrange the pears on top, pouring leftover buttery juices from the pan on top. Bake for 45 mins (or you can do it the risky way like I did, above) – a sharp knife inserted in the middle should come out clean. Let it cool in the tin.

Make a fabulous gooey sauce: put a bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure it doesn’t touch the water. Put in 75g dark chocolate, broken up; 75ml double cream; 25g caster sugar; and 2 tbsp. water. Let it melt slowly, giving it the odd stir; it’ll all come nicely together in 5 mins or so. Serve the cake with the sauce. HFW says it serves 4-6 but mine served 12 … and I’m certainly not one for bijou portions. His finger must have hit the wrong button on his laptop; an occurrence with which I am familious …