Ingredients – serves 8
For the cake:
- 2 pears
- 2 eggs
- 125 g butter
- 125g sugar
- 100 g flour
- 50 g ground almonds
- 25 g unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
- 50 ml double cream
For the chocolate buttercream:
- 2 egg whites
- 100 g sugar
- 135 g butter, cut into cubes
- 100 g dark chocolate
Make the cake:
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Line 2 small springform tins with baking parchment.
- Cream the butter with the sugar, then mix in the eggs.
- Sift the flour and cocoa over the mixture and whisk in until well combined.
- Add the cream and ground almonds and fold together.
- Divide the mixture between the 2 prepared tins, then carefully put a pear in each tin and press down until almost covered.
- Bake the cakes for 45 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to cool.
Make the chocolate buttercream:
- Put the egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl, simmer over a pot of water and whisk constantly but gently until the temperature reaches 60°C (if you don’t have a thermometer: until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are warm), then remove from the heat.
- Whip the warmed egg withes for 10 minutes with the whisk attachment of the mixer, until the meringue is thick, glossy and cooled down.
- Switch over to paddle attachment and mix in the butter cubes, one at a time. Keep mixing until the buttercream has reached a silky smooth texture.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once melted, add to the buttercream and beat until incorporated.
Assemble the cake:
- Cut the cooled cakes in half and core the pears.
- Spread a thick layer of the chocolate buttercream on the bottom half of the cake, put the top layer back on and sandwich together.
- Dust with cocoa powder.