16698

Bittersweet chocolate pear cakes

  • serves 6

Luscious, smooth and downright indulgent this recipe will put a smile on your face. These little cakes have a secret melted chocolate centre inside each pear.

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Ingredients

  • baby or small pears 6 ripe, peeled
  • plain chocolate 50g, cut into 6 chunks
  • lemon ½, juiced
  • unsalted butter 125g, very soft
  • light muscovado sugar 150g
  • eggs 2, beaten
  • cocoa 2 tbsp
  • baking powder ½ tsp
  • self-raising flour 125g
  • strong espresso 1 tbsp, cooled
  • chocolate toffee sauce warmed, Merchant Gourmet makes a good one

Method

  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Butter six 300ml ovenproof teacups or ramekins and line the bases with circles of baking parchment.

  • Step 2

    Cut a sliver off the pear bases and keep. Use a small knife to hollow out the cores. Place a chunk of chocolate inside each pear and replace the bases. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice to stop them browning while you make the cake mixture.

  • Step 3

    Beat the butter and 125g sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg then sift the cocoa, baking powder and flour over.

    Fold in the espresso. Divide the cake mix between the cups and push a pear into each so they sit upright in the mixture.

    There should be about a 2cm gap between the top of the cups and the top of the cake mix.

    Sprinkle the pears with the remaining sugar.

  • Step 4

    Cook in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and springy. Leave for 5 minutes then run a sharp knife around the edges to release them and leave on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

    Unmould (or serve in their cups if you like) and serve with chocolate toffee sauce.

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