Photo courtesy BBC Goodfood
Photo courtesy BBC Goodfood

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” ― Linda Grayson

Since I’ve done lots of simple cakes I thought it was time to attempt a challenge. Putting up this recipe isn’t entirely fair since it isn’t particularly simple. It’s not hard but there are lots of moving parts so if you read the recipe through a couple of times and try to follow the order of the steps you should be perfectly fine.The recipe doesn’t need too many ingredients but there are two things I want to point out:

1. This isn’t a very sweet cake – most people I know prefer dessert not to be decadently sweet so this works for me but check if there’s enough sugar in it for you (at the batter stage); and

2. I’m really not sure if this cake can/will get made without an electric whisk – there’s a lot of egg whipping happening here and blending it all by hand seems ridiculously hard.

Recipe adapted from BBC GoodFood
Serves 6 – 8
What you’ll need:An electric whisk (I have no idea who anyone could do so much whisking with their hands)
¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup caster sugar
¾ cup dark chocolate
4 eggs (separated)
¾ cup ground almonds/walnuts/cashews/hazelnuts
4 ripe pears
Icing sugar for dusting
Cream to serve with

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 150°C.

2. Toast whichever nuts you’ve picked (not a combination! Just pick whichever you find at home) on a dry pan. Stick under a fan or in front of an air conditioner to let them cool.

3. While the nuts are cooling – peel and core the pears and cut them into halves or quarters. I did quarters because I figured that way even someone wanting a small piece could get themselves a bit of pear. Pat dry and put aside.

4. Grind the nuts into as fine a powder as you can in your mixer.

5. Melt your chocolate and mix it in with butter – let this cool but keep checking that it doesn’t solidify back up.

4. Pop the egg yolks in with the caster sugar in a big bowl. Whisk till the paste is thick and pale. You’ll have a white, almost toothpaste like paste in your bowl by the end. Stir in chocolate, then whichever dried nuts you picked (powdered)

5. Take your egg whites and whisk (with a clean whisk!) till soft peaks form. This takes A WHILE so don’t lose patience. Stir this into your big bowl carefully (pouring in little bits at a time and whisking the chocolate batter the whole time).

6. Brush down a baking dish (one that’s around 25cm will work well) with butter and sift a light layer of caster sugar on top of this.

7. Pour in the batter and arrange your pears on top (cut side down) and bake for 40 minutes or till you pass the toothpick test. Let cool before unmoulding out of the baking dish.

8. Dust icing sugar on top and serve with some cream or all by itself.


  1. Could not agree more with the quote at the beginning! And absolutely like the -stand facing the stove – nothing else can get you cooking! Will try out some recipes here once I have an oven.

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