Chocolate and Pear Cake
4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
85g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin
85g caster sugar, plus extra for tin
1 tbsp brandy
3 eggs, separated
85g almonds, toasted and ground in a food processor
Cut a circle of baking paper to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the baking paper and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides removing any excess
Heat oven 180C (fan forced) or 160C (conventional).
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick; fold into the chocolate with the almonds.
In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you’ll have trouble folding them in).
Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down.
Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through.
Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely.
Recipes thanks to Kathy Kordalis, Home Economist