Friday, 19 July 2013

Is it really gluten free...??!! Chocolate, pear and almond cake



We often have to look after folk who are gluten intolerant, and I really rather enjoy looking for new recipes and trying new things.  In fact, with this recipe, we didn't wait until anyone with an allergy was staying with us - it was a staple on the menu for all of last winter season!

The original recipe came form BBC Good Food website (a particular favourite of mine).  I just changed it slightly in that I did not use the hazelnuts as suggested.  I have also tried the recipe one and a half times and twice the quantities with success.

For the ingredients

  • 85g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin
  • 85g golden caster sugar, plus extra for tin
  • 85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • a sprinkle of lightly toasted almond flakes
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  •  
    Method
    • Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.
    • Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, and leave to cool.Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick; fold into the chocolate with the ground almonds.
    • In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you’ll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down.   Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top. Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche, or cream, or white chocolate ice cream!!