Gennaro Contaldo’s Pear And Chocolate Cake

Gennaro Contaldo Torta di Pere, credit image to Dan Jones

 Gennaro’s recipe is a great way to take part in the ‘Be a Star, Bake a Cake’ campaign by hosting an afternoon tea with friends. Deliciously moreish, the pear and chocolate flavours compliment each other perfectly.

PLUS: To read our interview with Gennaro, click here.

3 eggs
150g caster sugar
85g unsalted butter, softened
300 self-raising flour, sifted
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
75g dark chocolate, roughly broken into small chunks
Zest of 1 small unwaxed lemon
A little sifted icing sugar
1 round cake tin 20cm in diameter with a loose bottom if you have one, greased with
a little butter and lined with greaseproof paper

For decoration:
100g caster (superfine) sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 pears, sliced very thinly
A little sifted icing (confectioners’) sugar (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180C. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the softened butter and continue to whisk until well amalgamated.
2 Fold in the flour, vanilla, lemon zest, pears and chocolate.
3 Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes – insert a wooden skewer, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
4 Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then loosen, place on a serving plate and decorate with sifted icing sugar if desired.
5 To decorate, heat the sugar in a wide sauté pan over a medium heat. Do not stir, just gently agitate the pan from time to time until the sugar starts to melt; this will take about 5 minutes.
6 Continue to cook, gently stirring with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes, until a dark caramel forms. Stir the butter through and add the thinly sliced pears, turning to coat in the caramel.
7 Cook for 3–4 minutes, until golden. Arrange on top of the cake. Decorate with sifted icing sugar, if liked.

Recipe taken from Gennaro’s Italian Bakery (Pavilion). Cake image: Dan Jones

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