First made in Bay of Islands, New Zealand, May, 2010
This is a deliciously moist brownie, topped with poached pears. It can be made with or without butter, and tastes wonderful both ways. I substitute applesauce and oil for the butter.
- 5 Pears
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice or Vinegar or Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Water
- 4 oz (113 gms) unsalted butter at room temperatureor: 4 oz (113 gms) applesauce and 2 T Canola Oil
- 1/2 cup granulated Sugar
- 4 large Eggs at room temperature
- 4 oz (113 gms) Dark Chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup all purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Almond Meal (finely ground almonds)
- 4 Tb unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1-1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp granulated Sugar
Instructions for Poaching the Pears:
- Peel the pears, then cut in half lengthwise, and remove the core.
- Combine 1/2 cup Water with the 1 tsp Vinegar or juice.
- Place the Pear halves flat side down in a microwave-proof dish.
- Add the Water and Vinegar mixture.
- Cover with cling wrap, and microwave for 5 minutes on High. Or you can poach the pears in the liquid in a covered pan on the stove top, until tender but not mushy.
- Drain the pears and allow to cool.
Instructions for Making the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F).
- Butter or oil a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. I sometimes use a round, silicone cake pan.
- Melt the Chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Do not burn. Or melt the Chocolate in a double boiler. Allow to cool.
- Stir together the Flour, Almond Meal, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder and Salt. Set aside.
- Beat the butter (or Applesauce and Canola Oil) with the sugar on medium speed in an electric mixer, or with a wire whisk by hand.
- Add the Eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the melted Chocolate and stir or beat until combined.
- Add the Flour mixture and beat or stir for one minute, or until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Arrange the pear halves in a circle on the top of the batter, flat side down.
- Sprinkle the top of the pears with 1 tsp Sugar.
- Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
- Cool the cake in its pan on a rack, until cool enough to handle, then remove it and place on a serving plate.
Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or thick plain yoghurt.