We are of the firm belief that one can never really have too much chocolate, so we’ve come up with a delicious and fruity take on the much-loved flourless chocolate cake. While it’s intensely rich and dense, this cake is lightened up by the pears, which provide lovely flavor and cut through the cake’s intensity. Honestly, we can’t get enough of this dessert and we know you’ll feel the same way.
It’s absolute perfection for rounding out a dinner party or any fancier event you may have marked on your calendarsince it looks just as beautiful as it tastesbut we recommend making it at least once ahead of time so you can get used to the process (and have double the chocolate cake). Regardless of when or for whom you make it, give this dessert your full attention; it tastes divine and will blow you away!
Hazelnut Chocolate Pear Cake
- 8 oz. semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 firm ripe pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 cold eggs, separated
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing pan
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for pan
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely ground
- 1 tablespoon brandy, optional
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 375º F and place oven rack in the center of oven.
- Butter the bottom of a springform pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Butter the parchment paper, then sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons sugar. Swirl pan around, making sure sugar coats the bottom and sides, then discard excess and set aside.
- Set up a double-boiler with a heatproof bowl set over a simmering saucepan of water.
- Place chopped chocolate and butter in top bowl and stir together until fully melted and smooth. Remove from heat, stir in brandy and instant coffee granules and let cool.
- In a separate bowl, beat together egg yolks and vanilla extract until incorporated. Then slowly add it to the cooled melted chocolate and whisk until completely combined.
- In a large bowl or mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Turn speed up to medium-high and beat for another 3 minutes, or until you have soft peaks.
- Gradually add in superfine sugar and beat on high until stiff, shiny peaks form.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/3 egg white mixture into melted chocolate.
- Once incorporated, gently fold in remaining egg whites. Do not mix or stir in egg whites, as they will deflate.
- Fold in toasted hazelnuts.
- Pour mixture into springform pan and smooth over the top. Take your pear slices and carefully arrange them around the edges (and/or across the top).
- Place in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the center is just set.
- Remove and let cool completely, then run your knife around the edge and release the sides of the springform.
- Wiggle your knife under the parchment paper and very carefully transfer it to serving platter. Cut cake by dipping a sharp knife in hot water before slicing.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma