Sunday, August 7, 2011

Upside down pear chocolate cake

Upside down pear chocolate cake / Bolo invertido de pêra e chocolate

I grew up eating my grandmother’s upside down pineapple cake, with prunes or candied cherries placed in the wholes of the pineapple slices. I even made it a couple of times when I started baking. But not until I became a food blogger did I learn that there are several other types of upside down cakes – I was amazed to know that one could bake those using different kinds of fruit! :D

I love learning new things. :)

While summer is away and I cannot bake this beautiful and delicious cherry and nectarine upside down cake – thanks for the inspiration, Jane! – I’ll stick to pears and chocolate. Very wintery and oh, so delicious.

Upside down pear chocolate cake / Bolo invertido de pêra e chocolate

Upside down pear chocolate cake
slightly adapted from the gorgeous Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More

Fruit topping:
1 cup (200g) superfine sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
3 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and each cut into 12 wedges (450g/1 pound prepped)

¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter
112g (4oz) dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (30g) unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (150g) superfine sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (120ml) whole milk, room temperature

Butter a 23cm (9in) round cake pan.
Start by making the fruit topping: put the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves lightly. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, just gently swirling the pan around occasionally, until the caramel becomes a dark amber color. Occasionally wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.
Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared cake pan and allow it to harden – be careful when handling the cake pan for it will be very hot from the caramel. Arrange the pears slices on top the caramel.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Make the cake: place the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and melt, stirring occasionally. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Transfer the melted chocolate and butter to the large bowl of an electric mixer, add the sugar and beat in medium speed until creamy and well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Using a spatula, mix in the dry ingredients alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter over the pears and bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the cake bounces back when lightly touched and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then carefully invert the cake onto a plate, leaving the pan on top of the cake for 5 minutes before removing it.
Serve warm with chantilly cream or vanilla ice cream – it is equally delicious at room temperature, on its own.
Cake will keep for up to 3 days wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature.

Serves 12-15 – I made the exact recipe above using a 20cm (8in) square cake pan and 6 very small pears (called “Ercolini”), halved and cored


Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Very cute and sounds delicious!

La Table De Nana said...

It is beautiful!

Panna L said...

Absolutely delicious!

Velvet said...

I'm looking forward to bake my first "upside down" cake!

Sashquatch said...

Any upside down cake is a winner with me :) Theres a chocolate almond one if seen that im dying to try out and this has just joined the list! Gorgeous :)

Unknown said...

that is just so darn pretty

Aldy said...

Hi Patricia , What a wonderful cake! I love the combination of pears and chocolate- Looks so moist and delicate...beautiful recipe.This goes on my list to try :)

Have a great day,


Unknown said...

Confession: I don't think I've tried pear and chocolate, together. You're pictures are GORGEOUS! And I'm pretty sure the combo will be happening, REAL soon!

Rinku Naveen said...

My goodness! What a beautiful cake!

Peggy said...

This looks so delicious! And I was just thinking of what to do with my pears - now I know!

Tara @ The Butter Dish said...

Ooooh what a delightfully delicious and dangerously addictive combination.

Yes I'll take a big hunka slice of that please...two actually. I may decide to share

Or not. :)

Deeba PAB said...

Love the sound of the book 'Rustic Fruit Desserts', and have had it on my wishlist for long. Stone fruit season is just winding up here & the first pears are beginning to show up. Yay you Patricia... inspiration for the next season has been served up beautifully! Thank you!!

Luv'n Spoonfuls said...

Looks usual! What a great combination! And, I love the presentation. What a beautiful photo.

Jane said...

Thanks so very much, Patricia, for that shout-out about my cherry and nectarine upside down cake. You are sweet--of course!--in every way! :) Your cake looks heavenly.


Unknown said...

Just made it now... in a non-round pan as well... made out of ceramics which unfortunately cracked due to the temperature difference. but the cake is nice :) a very nice combination. i used halved pears instead of the slices that you recommended and it's quite tasty.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Dear Andreea, I'm so sorry your dish cracked! :(
I'm glad you like the cake, though. Thank you for letting me know how the recipe turned out!

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