This Dark Chocolate Pear Cake, is a delicious Italian cake made with fresh pears and rich dark chocolate. A dessert, snack or even breakfast cake everyone will love.
Dark Chocolate Pear Cake even the name sounds lovely doesn’t it? This is one of the Italian’s favourite Cakes. He loves it along side a cup of coffee or dunked in his cafe latte in the morning.
A little History of Chocolate in Italy
When I first moved to Italy and it was the start of summer all of a sudden there was no chocolate to be seen, anywhere, (except of course chocolate gelato).
Not in the grocery stores, not in the coffee shops not in friends’ houses, nope, nadda niente! Needless to say that was very devastating for me, I adore chocolate. I would make a chocolate stash in the spring just to hold me out until the Fall.
So why you ask was there no chocolate in the summer? Well, because Italians believed that chocolate would make you even hotter, “calorosso”, (temperature wise hot!), not a good thing when temperatures would reach 40° celcius they would say.
But once fall hit, the Chocolate and the Chocolate Recipes would be flying. It seems no one could get enough. Easy to understand when it’s gone for three months!
- Chocolate – good quality dark chocolate
- Butter – I use salted
- Sugar – granulated or fine sugar
- Eggs – large room temperature
- Yogurt – greek yogurt
- Baking powder
- Bake soda –
- Salt –
- Flour – cake/pastry flour or you can use all purpose
- Pears – 1 large or 2 small/medium cut into cubes
- Powdered sugar – also known as icing or confectioners sugar
How to make homemade Pastry/Cake flour
For every cup of all purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of corn starch. Be sure to sift the flour and cornstarch together a couple of times, this way it is sure to be properly combined and lump free. Cake flour in cakes will give you a very tender texture and fine crumb, it will also help the cake to rise.
How to make it
In a small bowl over a pot of boiling water (make sure water does not touch bottom of bowl) melt chocolate (broken into pieces) and butter, when they have almost melted remove bowl from heat and stir until smooth. (let cool).
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until creamy, add the cooled melted chocolate, yogurt, milk and flour mixture.
Beat until smooth, fold in the chopped pears and combine gently, spoon into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes (test with a toothpick). Let cool, remove from the pan, dust with powdered sugar before serving.
What is bain-marie?
It is basically a fancy french term for a hot water bath. To do this, place a pot with water on the burner and a plate on top with the ingredient that needs to be melted or heated. If you are melted chocolate be sure that the water in the pot does not touch the bottom of the dish. Heat the water to a slow boil and stir the chocolate until completely melted and smooth.
What are the best pears for baking
The best pears for baking are the Anjou which is firm and mild tasting, the Bartlett (Williams) a nice juicy pear or the Bosc which is crisp and sweet. Make sure to use pears that are firm but ripe.
In Italy I always use a Williams Pear which is very easily found here, and I find it perfect whenever I make a cake, although I do usually purchase them when they are ripe but on the firmer side.
What makes a cake fall
- There are a lot a reasons a cake may fall, but the most common ones are, your oven temperature is off, you can always check it with an oven thermometer to check this.
- You open the oven door too early to check on the cake, it’s best to wait at least 25-30 minutes.
- Once the batter is mixed it should be baked, letting a cake batter sit too long can cause it to fall. The baking powder or baking soda usually start acting immediately and will only last for a very short period of time, therefore if the cake batter is left to stand before baking then there is always a risk that the baking powder or soda will have expired by the time that the cake goes into the oven.
- Your baking powder or soda has expired and is no long active.
- The pan size might not be the correct size, sometimes using a bundt pan will help.
How to store it
The completely cooled cake should be wrapped well or stored in an airtight container, store the cake in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.
How to freeze the Chocolate Pear Cake
To freeze the cake, wrap the completely cooled cake in plastic wrap then place in a freezer safe bag, it will keep for up to 1-2 months in the freezer.
This Dark Chocolate Pear Cake is one of those worth waiting for Fall cakes. Made with a delicious dark chocolate and lovely ripe pears make this a tasty Italian cake, no need for any icing.
A little sprinkle of powdered sugar and you have the perfect dessert. I think the combination of Pears and Dark Chocolate were made for one another. Enjoy!
More Delicious Italian Cakes
- Italian Mother-in-law Cake
- Easy Italian Apple Cake
- Tablespoon Italian Lemon Cake
- Classic Italian Bundt Cake
Italian Dark Chocolate Pear Cake
- 5¼ ounces dark chocolate
- 1 cup cake/pastry flour (or even all purpose)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 7 tablespoons butter (softened)* (100 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup greek yogurt (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
- 2 small/medium ripe pears peeled and chopped (1 1/2 cups)** (225 grams)
For room temperature ingredients, remove them from the fridge approximately 1 hour before using.
*If you use unsalted butter then add ¼ teaspoon of salt.
**You could also toss the chopped pears with 2 teaspoons of flour to keep them from sinking in the batter.
- 2-4 tablespoons powdered/icing sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 340° (170 celsius), grease and flour well an 8-9 inch round cake pan (24 cm) or a 9½ inch (24 cm) tube pan.
- In a small bowl over a pot of boiling water (make sure water does not touch bottom of bowl) melt chocolate (broken into pieces) and butter, when they have almost melted remove the bowl from heat and stir until smooth. (let cool).
- In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until creamy, add cooled melted chocolate, yogurt, milk and flour mixture, beat until smooth 1-2 minutes, fold in the chopped pears and combine gently, transfer into the prepared cake pan. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes (test with a toothpick). Let cool, remove from the pan, dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!
Updated from September 4, 2015.
Hi Rosemary, In number 4 the recipe says to beat eggs, BUTTER & sugar until creamy. Do I have to add more butter than the 7 Tablespoons that I added to the chocolate.
Thanks for all your recipes, they are great.
Hi Pat, sorry my mistake, should be beat eggs and sugar, then add the melted chocolate and butter. I corrected it, thanks. Take care!
Paul Diveny says
I do have pear trees, so I was happy to see your recipe. This cake was delicious!
Hi Paul, thanks so much, glad you enjoyed the cake. Take care!
Can I use almond flour in all your pear recipes? It has to be gluten free for my friends.
Hi Joan, some say you can substitute and some say you can’t, because of the difference in gluten and fat content in almond flour. I have never made it gluten free so I really can’t say. If you try it, let me know.
Hello, I can hardly wait to try this recipe. I have been looking for recipes with pears and voila! Is it possible to add a picture of the slice laying down along with the picture from above? It alwats helps me a lot deciding what to bake next when I’m scolling down the recipes and looking at the slice pictures. For me they all look the same from the top (especially the bundt cakes) but the slices pictures are worth everything. Many thanks, love your recipes and the detailed explanations!
Hi Nicole, to tell you the truth, I was going to redo the photos tomorrow and hopefully update it either tomorrow or Saturday. Hope you can wait till then. Take care.
Great recipe! Easy to follow and I appreciate having the metric measurements! The cake is cooling as I write this, and the kitchen smells divine. I added a handful of chocolate chips.
I also have an Italian in my kitchen – I’m sure he’ll love this recipe.
Hi Rachel, thanks so much, glad you like it and I hope your Italian does too. Have a great weekend.
Hi, I’m in Australia where we use either “self raising” or “plain” flour. Which do you use in your recipes please? It is not stated. Looks delicious by the way.
Hi Liz, if I don’t specify the type of flour (eg self rising or pastry/cake flour) then it’s plain/all purpose flour. It’s funny I think every country has a different name for every type of flour. 🙂
Hi, just wanted to check, is it 1 cup of flour or 1/2 cup? Because in the recipe it says 1 cup of flour but 120g? Isn’t 1 cup equivalent to 240g? Your clarification is much appreciated.. thanks!
Hi Haze, one cup of flour is equal to 120-125 grams. Haha don’t scare me like that! Have a great weekend.
Abby skaggs says
Wonderful ! Enjoyed the chocolate & pear together. Thank you for sharing
Hi Abby, so glad you enjoyed it.
Pie Rivera says
I never had pears and chocolates paired before, but I think this Dark Chocolate Pear Cake looks really good and I love dark chocolates! 🙂
I love your stories about living in Italy! This cake looks so pretty and it’s such a great combo with the pears – perfect for Fall!
Diane Williams says
Pears and chocolate…in a cake! Wow. new idea for me. A delicious, scrumptious idea! I’m putting in on my ‘to make’ list! The hubs will love it!
Hi Diane, thanks, hope your husband likes it, mine did.
Pairing pear with chocolate is new for me. I love this recipe! I must confess, I NEVER purchase pears, but I’d love to try this one. Looks like the perfect tea-time cake. 🙂
Hi Byron, thanks, actually pears and chocolate are very popular here, they taste really good together.
Brian Jones says
I’m one of those people that would quite happily wait for Autumn to eat chocolate, it is very much a rarity in our house although I do have a weakness for poached pears and dark chocolate sauce so this sounds really interesting to me… Especially as the pears will be abundant in the coming weeks.
Hi Brian, it’s a really good combination actually, let me know how you like it if you give it a go.