Flourless Vanilla Pear and Chocolate Cake.

THIS DISH was inspired by watching the Great British Bake Off.  Baking has long been something I've felt i need to do more of and since it has been pouring rain allday, what better to do than bake to brighten up the day.  This recipe is practically a brownie recipe and is healthier because it's flourless.  Kids always love baking, and this would be a great recipe for them to get involved with.  Everyone loves licking the spoon after all!  Serve with some homemade vanilla ice cream or chantilly cream.


     3 Ripe pears, halved and cored
     75g Unsalted butter
     75g Caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
     100g 70% cocoa, dark chocolate, the best you can afford
     3 Eggs, separated.
     1 Vanilla pod or splash vanilla essence.
     Water to cover


1)   Butter a 20cm cake tin and line with parchment paper, sprinkle caster sugar around the outside. Heat oven to 180c/mark 6.

2)   Make a simple syrup by adding sugar to water.  Whisk to dissolve, tasting to ensure it’s sweet enough, bring to the boil and add the scraped vanilla seeds and pod (or essence if using) to the pot. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Then gently add the pears and allow to infuse for as long as possible. Remember, you don’t want the pears to be too soft as they’re going in the oven, so keep checking they aren’t over cooked.

3)   Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie, set aside and allow to cool slightly.

4)   Whisk the yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.

5)   Then, using a very clean bowl and whisk, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.

6)    Fold the chocolate mix into the egg yolks, and then fold a spoon of the egg white mix into it.    Gradually fold the rest of the whites until all incorporated.

7)    Carefully fill the cake tin with the mix and place the pears around the cake tin. Place in the oven and cook for around 40 mins or until a knife comes out of the cake cleanly.

8)   Transfer to a cooling wire and cool.Tip upside down in your hand and remove the parchment paper.  Dust with icing sugar before serving.
TIP:Every oven is different.  Just because the dial reads 180C (or whatever temperature) doesn't mean it cooks at that heat. So if a recipe specifies a time, only use that as a guideline and make sure you keep your eye on the dish.