Sunday, 31 July 2011

Chocolate Pear Cake

I am tentatively allowing some home-baked goodies back into our diet, on the basis that a little slice of cake made with the best fresh ingredients will ALWAYS be better for you than a processed rice cake or anaemic low-fat commercial biscuit.  Since doing the original Nigel Challenge a couple of years ago, I have become a fan of his favourite 'pound cake' recipe, where essentially you have the same weight of butter, sugar and flour - organic, please, for the best flavour.  This cake uses 125g each of those ingredients, along with 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 30g of cocoa powder (get the best you can afford), a teaspoon of vanilla essence (again, the good stuff from Madagascar), 2 organic eggs and 100ml of plain yoghurt.  Have the butter nice and soft and then chuck it all into the KitchenAid and beat until it goes a pale milk chocolately colour and is soft and creamy.  You could just sit on the floor of the kitchen, in the corner, and eat it out of the bowl now.  Or resist, and spoon it into a parchment-lined 20cm-square baking tin.  Peel and chop 2 ripe pears and press the chunks into the top of the sponge.  Bake at 170C for about 45 minutes, during which time the pear will sink beguilingly into the chocolate batter.  This will serve 8-10 people, so is really not as bad as you'd think, with about 15g of fat per serve.

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