- 2 14-oz cans pear halves in juice
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) soft butter plus more for greasing
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F and grease an 8 1/2-inch-square ovenproof dish with butter.
2. Drain the pears and arrange them in the base of the dish.
3. Put all the remaining ingredients in a processor and blitz till you have a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
4. Spread the brown batter over the pears, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
5. Let stand for 5 or 10 minutes and then cut into slabs — I cut 2 down and 2 across to make 9 slices — and serve with chocolate sauce.
You can make the chocolate sauce on page 51, or buy one you like, obviously, but I have a complete pantry standby of a sauce I make by heating together ¾ cup evaporated milk, ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder, ½ cup dark corn syrup, and 3 ½ ounces semisweet chocolate.
The cake itself does make a little bit of its own sauce, so if you really don't want to make some separately, just serve with chocolate ice cream.
As with any baking, you really do want all ingredients at room temperature before you start.