Pears and chocolate. It’s a classic combination that I didn’t think could get any better, but add a touch of cardamom and it’s transported to a whole new level in this beautiful gluten free Pear, Chocolate and Cardamom Cake.
I love the unexpected surprise that the cardamom gives this cake. On the surface it looks like a simple chocolate and pear cake, however it’s the cardamom that really makes this cake, and makes it a really special cake with it’s beautiful, yet subtle flavour and heady scent.
This recipe comes from the beautiful The Ethicurean Cookbook: Recipes, Foods and Spirituous Liquors, from our Bounteous Walled Garden in the Several Seasons of the year and was the first of many recipes I earmarked to try. Not least because I had all the ingredients on hand, because admittedly, although this book is beautiful and inspiring, quite a number of the recipes use hard to find ingredients. I’m not deterred though, and am still trying to find somewhere that stocks dried elderflowers that ships to Australia – if you know of anywhere I can get them I’d love to hear from you!
I did make quite a few changes to this recipe though. Firstly I replaced the caster sugar with brown sugar as I wanted a richer, more caramel-like flavour, which goes so well with pears. Next, the original recipe only called for one pear, but I doubled this because I honestly didn’t think it was enough pear for the size of the cake. I’m glad I did because I do think it needed it. I also increased the amount of chocolate in the original recipe, because honestly, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. Finally, in the middle of the cake I added a layer of pear slices and chocolate, as the original recipe called for the pear and chocolate to be added on top.
This is a truly beautiful cake that you need to make. At least once!
- 315g (11 oz) salted butter, at room temperature
- 315g (1½ cups) brown sugar
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 315g (11 oz) ground almonds
- 50g (1/2 cup) gluten free flour or plain flour
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 2 ripe pears, peeled and sliced (or chopped if you prefer)
- 100g (3½ oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
- caster sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 160 celsius (320 Fahrenheit) and line the base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Switch the mixer to low and gradually add the beaten eggs followed by the ground almonds, flour and cardamom. Mix until combined.
- Place half the cake mixture into the prepared tin and cover with half the pear and chopped chocolate. Cover with the remaining cake mixture and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the cake and push the remaining pieces of chocolate into the top of the cake and top with the remaining pear in whatever pattern you prefer. Sprinkle the pear with caster sugar and return to the oven to bake for a further 40 minutes, or until the cake is cooked and the centre of the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove the cake from the tin and cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm with a dollop of cream.