After dining on the Carpaccio, Spaghetti Vongole and a LOT of prosecco at Al Di La, I tracked down the Brooklyn Cookbook, so I could recreate and relive the Spaghetti Vongole back in Australia. This Chocolate Pear Cake recipe is also in the book, and has also become a favourite!
I have tried it with different flours (usually spelt – I find the earthiness goes well with the dark chocolate and pear) and different fruits, depending on the season, and it is a really robust and flexible recipe. Enjoy!
Al Di La’s Chocolate Pear Cake
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup plain all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 pears, peeled, diced
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and then coat with the breadcrumbs, hitting any excess out into the sink.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Using your KitchenAid mixer, whip the eggs with the whisk attachment until very pale and thick. (You can use handheld beaters here too.)
While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Add the stick to a pot, turn the heat up to medium and let it melt; then turn the heat higher and let it get toasty brown. Take it as far as you can go without burning it; when it’s just there, take it off the heat. (Keep in mind it’ll continue to brown after you remove it from the heat, so take it two steps from the edge.)
Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more. When the eggs start to lose volume, turn the mixer down to low and add the flour mixture and brown butter back and forth, starting and ending with the flour (I went: flour, butter, flour, the rest of the butter, flour). Use a rubber spatula to do one final mix and then pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Combine the pear and chocolate in a bowl so they’re nicely mixed and then sprinkle over the cake batter. Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool and then remove the sides. Dust with lots of powdered sugar and serve plain or with whipped cream or ice cream, if you like.