RECIPE

Chocolate fudge cake with poached pears and salted caramel

Serves: Serves 10
Prep: 40 minutes
Cooks In: 30 minutes + 1 1/2 hours to poach pears

Chocolate fudge cake with poached pears and salted caramel

This flourless chocolate fudge cake is super moist and dense in texture, as well as being gluten free.

This four-ingredient flourless chocolate fudge cake is amazing on its own with just cream, creme fraiche or yoghurt, however add the golden poached pears and salted caramel sauce, and WOW you have one stunning dessert that will get gasps of delight all around. The poached pears can be made up to one week in advance (they keep well in their own syrup in the fridge). I like to serve the cake warm from the oven, but it’s great served cold too!

It all started with the original recipe for a ‘Chocolate Nemesis’ cake from the River Cafe, and since then cooks and chefs all around the World have played around and created their own versions, and here is mine!

Ingredients

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Poached pears

  • wine e.g. pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, Riesling 2 cups
  • sugar or liquid honey ½ cup
  • lemon peel of 1 smooth-skinned, cut into thin strips
  • pears 3 small firm ripe

Chocolate fudge cake

  • good quality dark eating chocolate (I used Whittakers 72% Dark Ghana) 350g
  • butter 250g
  • brown sugar ½ cup
  • free-range eggs 5

Salted caramel sauce

  • brown sugar ½ cup
  • water 3 tablespoons
  • cream ½ cup
  • salt good pinch of

To serve

  • strawberries 1 punnet, cut into quarters
  • fresh cherries handful of (optional)
  • Crème fraiche, whipped cream or yoghurt

Method

1.To make the poached pears, mix wine, sugar and lemon peel in a small pot. Peel pears as nicely and smoothly as you can with a vegetable peeler. Slice 1cm off the bottom of each pear (this is so they can stand upright on the cake). Place pears in the wine mixture on their side so that they are covered by the wine.

2. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 1 ½ – 2 hours, or until pears are tender, and the liquid has reduced to a golden amber coloured syrup. Baste pears with the syrup a few times during cooking and check that the liquid is not reducing too fast that they start burning on the bottom of the pot. Turn the pears over at least once during cooking so that both sides have a turn being fully submerged in the liquid. Once pears are cooked they can be stored in the fridge (in their syrup) for up to a week.

3. To make the chocolate fudge cake, preheat oven to 170degC. Grease and line an 18-20cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Gently melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in a glass or metal bowl set above a pot of simmering water (to do this, quarter fill a small pot with water and bring to a simmer. Place broken-up chocolate and butter in a glass or metal bowl that is bigger than the pot of water, and place on top of the pot of simmering water. Gently heat, stirring a few times, until completely melted. Set aside off the heat to cool to room temperature.

4. While chocolate is cooling, place eggs and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on high speed with a electric beater for 4-5 minutes or until mixture is very thick, pale and fluffy, and about 4-5 times bigger in volume.

5. Use a large metal spoon to fold melted chocolate into egg mixture until chocolate is uniformly mixed through. Try to keep as much air in the batter as possible. Spoon mixture into prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top has formed a thin crust, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with a few slightly sticky crumbs (note: the cake will have puffed up and sunken back in a bit, which is normal). Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before releasing the cake tin spring and removing the ring, and baking paper around the sides. Then place your serving plate on top of the cake and flip it upside down in one smooth motion to invert it onto the plate. Remove the cake tin base and baking paper.

6. To make the salted caramel sauce, place brown sugar and water in a fry pan on medium heat until melted and starting to bubble and darken (don’t stir!). Stir in cream with a wooden spoon and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Stir in a good pinch of salt, and stir in a knob of butter at the end to add some extra gloss to it. Add extra salt to taste if needed. The syrup will thicken as it cools.

To serve, arrange poached pears and some of their syrup on top, and arrange strawberries and cherries around. Finally, drizzle over the salted caramel. Serve with crème fraiche, yoghurt or whipped cream on the side.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Kilojoules
2594
Calories
612
Carbs
45.9 g
Sugar
43.1 g
Total Fat
41.1 g
Protein
5.9 g

Comments

  • Cjay

    Could you make this the night before, or would the caramel go too hard in the fridge? We have to drive on Christmas so thinking how I could prepare this the night before 🙂

    • Absolutely! Both the cake and caramel will keep well either in the fridge (well covered) or in an airtight container in your pantry. The caramel won’t harden…it will become thicker, but will still be pourable. And if you want it runnier all you have to do is heat it a little in a pot or the microwave briefly. Enjoy!

      • Cjay

        Awesome! Thanks Nadia. Can’t wait to test it out next week 🙂 Have a great Christmas!

        • You too! With lots of delicious food! 🙂

  • Tia

    Made for the first time & served at our office Xmas morning tea. So decadent & delicious yet super easy to make. Thanks Nadia, this is definitely my ‘go-to’ dessert now. Merry Xmas 🙂

  • Tralee

    I now know that my life was incomplete without this amazing cake! We didn’t have any pears so I layered it with home made ice cream and the salted caramel in wine glasses – DIVINE:) My family couldn’t believe a kid like me could make something so delicious – you’re such an inspiration to me, as a person and a cook:) Thank you Nadia have a very Merry Christmas 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Thanks for the amazing feedback Tralee, the cake you made layered with the home made ice cream sounds INCREDIBLE!

      • Tralee

        Thank you so much for saying that Nadia, I’m kinda freaking out that you called what I made incredible!!!!!! It’s like being told you have a good voice by Morgan Freeman!

  • Bevan Thompson

    Do you use fan bake for the cake?

    • you can use fanbake, but just lower the temp by 10degC 🙂

  • Bevan Thompson

    I want to make two of these. Do you think I could double the mixture and then pour it into two tins to bake it? Or, should I make one, then make the other?

    • yep, that would be fine if you divide the mixture equally….they may take 5-10 min longer in the oven though as having more things in the oven lowers the temp a bit

  • Naomi

    Hi Nadia will it be ok to use a 23cm springform tin instead? As I don’t have a smaller one, thanks.

    • yes, thats fine….it might take a tiny bit less to cook because it won’t be as high/deep.

  • Sam

    How far in advance could we make this?