TCIF: Pear & Chocolate ‘Belle Helene’ Cake

Mimi ON Nov 26, 2010 AT 11:18 am

Pear and Chocolate Cake

Pear and Chocolate Cake

By Sarah Adams

The dessert ‘Poire Belle Helene’ was created around 1870 by a French chef who named it after an opera singer, La Belle Helene. This original idea has been replicated by pastry chefs time and again and has evolved in some really interesting directions. This is my cake version of the original dessert and, like the dessert, would go fantastically well with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.   

Ingredients:
Makes 1 x 8” or 9” cake,

Pro Tip: use a tin with minimum 2.5” sides

650g pears, approximately 4 large pears

Pear and Chocolate Cake

Pear and Chocolate Cake - melt the chocolate and cream and drizzle over cool cake

50g caster sugar
60g double cream

Preparation:
Peel and slice the pears into thin slices.

Mix the cream with the sugar and add the pears, toss it all together and set aside. 

Ingredients: The Cake Batter

280g plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
50g cocoa
150g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons masala
4 tablespoons water

Pro Tip: if the mixture looks like it is curdling add a little flour while you are beating in the eggs.

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to gas 3/160˚C, grease and line the base of your tin.

Cream the sugar, butter and salt together for at least 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time beating really well after each addition.

Next, fold in the flour, cocoa and baking powder in three stages, adding the water and Masala with the second batch

Put a generous third of the batter onto the base of the tin and place half of the pears on top (try not to have the fruit touching the sides of the tin).

Now repeat with the rest of the ingredients, finishing with the last third of cake batter.      

Pear and Chocolate Cake

Pear and Chocolate Cake - melt the chocolate and cream and drizzle over cool cake

Pro Tip: don’t be afraid to add all of the Pear, it will look like a lot but it can take it!

Cooking:
Place in the oven for 1 ¾ hours to 2 ½ hours check with a skewer to see if it is cooked (it should come out clean).

Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Serving:
Once the cake is cool I like to cover it with extra chocolate that I make from, 100g cream and 100g dark chocolate. Melt the two together and pour over the top of the cake letting it run down the sides, a little dusting of cocoa and you have a mouth watering slice of pear and chocolate heaven! 

Click here to see Sarah’s last TCIF recipe: Banana and Walnut Cake

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