Pears and chocolate complement each other beautifully, and this cake is no exception. It works just as well in a 23cm round or a 20cm square tin that has been greased and lined.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour in an oven preheated to 190°
Makes: 12 servings (approximately)
500g pears, peeled, cored and diced
275g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
225g unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into small pieces
The juice and zest of an unwaxed orange
100g milk chocolate bar roughly chopped - try to use a good quality one such as Greene & Black or Divine
2 large free range eggs, beaten
200g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
Milk as necessary for the correct consistency
Mix the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Using your fingertips rub in the butter. You don't want a fine breadcrumb consistency, but slightly bigger lumps.
Gently mix in the pears.
Add the chocolate and orange zest.
Add 4 tbsps of the orange juice to the beaten eggs and add to the other ingredients to form a fairly stiff mixture.
Transfer the cake mix to the prepared tin, smooth the top and sprinkle with a little Demerara sugar.
Bake for about an hour until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
When cool decorate the top and sides with the chocolate buttercream icing which you have made by creaming the icing sugar and butter, incorporating the cocoa powder, and adding any necessary milk.