Are you looking for a recipe that’s perfect for Christmas? Look no further, this festive chocolate pear cake is perfect for the season. The chocolate layer cake doesn’t need much time, you will also be astonished to see how quickly the frosting comes together. The only part that requires some time are the pears. Because you have to poach them and you will need to dry them in the oven to get this gorgeous decoration. But hey, it is Christmas, I feel it is worth the extra time, don’t you think?
This chocolate pear cake is not only a show-stopper, for once pears are the star of this dessert, when are pears ever the star in a cake? I somehow feel they are often forgotten, sadly so. But pears have a nice mild flavor, which combines perfectly with the chocolate flavor. As you poach the pears with very Christmassy spices, you will get a nice Christmas feeling. Needless to say that the dried pears on the outside of the cake make this so worth for any festivity. On top of all this goodness you get a nice whipping cream frosting that is prepared in under five minutes, I don’t know what else to ask for.
So, are you ready for this cake? I can assure you, all my test eaters praised this cake. I wouldn’t post the recipe here if I wasn’t sure that it is awesome. I can only encourage you to try pears for Christmas once. Seriously, everybody is tired of pumpkin and apples, here you will have pears calling the tune. Why not have a yellow or gold Christmas, full of cinnamon notes, chocolate and pears?
Chocolate Pear Cake for Christmas
- Pears for Decoration
- About 6 large pears (I got Williams)
- 400 grams of water
- 200 grams of regular sugar
- Optional: Yellow or gold food coloring
- Chocolate Layer Cake
- 2 eggs, size L
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, see here how to make your own
- 110 grams of canola oil
- 240 grams of buttermilk
- 220 grams of all-purpose flour
- 65 grams of unsweetened cocoa
- 200 grams of regular sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 240 grams of freshly brewed espresso
- Poached Pears
- 5 large pears (I used Williams again)
- 1 liter of water
- 200 grams of brown sugar
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Cream Filling
- 200 grams of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of the leftover spiced water of the poached pears
- 150 grams of mascarpone
For the pears for decorations thinnly (1mm to 1.5mm) slice the pears using a mandolin. I highly recommend using a mandolin to get straight layers. You should be able to get between 7-9 layers per pear.
Heat water with sugar, wait until sugar is disolved. Bring to boil and add the pear slices. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15min. Add food coloring towards the end. Let sit at room temperature for about one hour or overnight.
For the chocolate layer cake line two 23cm/9inch cake pans with parchment paper. You can also work with one if you only have one. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Cream the eggs, vanilla extract, oil and buttermilk together, batter will be thin. Now add all other ingredients except for the coffee. Once combined, add the coffee. Again, batter will be thin.
Divide evenly between cake pans and bake for about 25min. If baking one after the other, keep the second part in the fridge before baking. An inserted toothpick should come out clean. Let cool for 10min before releasing. Wrap in plastic wrap until further use once cool.
Now go back to your pears for decorations, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take pear slices out of water and pat dry. Place side by side on parchment paper and bake at about 80 degrees Celsius for about two hours. You don't want to get pear chips, they should still be bendable. Keep in an airtight container until further use.
For the poached pears quarter pears and take out kernel. Bring water to a boil, add the sugar and all the spices, wait for the sugar to disolve. Lower the heat to low and put the pears inside. Try to pat them down a little so that they are mainly covered in water. Let simmer for about 15min, when poaked with a fork they should feel softish. You can leave the pears in the liquid until you use them. I recommend chilling in the fridge if continuing the next day. Once done, you can, but this is optional, take about five tablespoons of the liquid and let it simmer until you have reduced it in about half the amount.
For the cream filling beat all ingredients except the mascarpone with a mixer until stiff. Add the mascarpone with your mixer on low. Chill until further use.
To assemble the cake, spread a thin layer of cream on the first cake layer. Then arrange the poached pears in a circle. Keep at least two pears for the top decoration. Now generously put further cream all around and on top of the pears so that you have another even layer you can place the second chocolate cake layer on. Spread the remaining cream on the sides and top. Thinly slice the two pears you reserved and arrange in a circle on the top. Pat the pears for decorations on the sides, you may use a little of cream to glue them together.
All components of this cake can easily be made one to two days in advance. However, I highly recommend only frosting the cake with the pears for decorations shortly before serving as they tend to soften a bit.