When I posted a picture of this ‘pudding’ on my Facebook page, one of my readers commented, ‘it looks more like a cake’. Frankly,that’s because this Chocolate Almond Pear Pudding Cake IS a cake – a soft, squidgy delicious cake that you serve with a sauce. And in England, we call that a ‘pudding’. It’s never really made sense to me, but after all these years I’ve come to accept it.
You see, in the UK dessert is more often than not referred to as ‘pudding’. Dinner guests will refuse second helpings in order to ‘leave space for pudding’ and waiters will offer you ‘the pudding menu’. However, you are unlikely to find chocolate, vanilla or butterscotch pudding as we know it in North America on the menu. That kind of smooth, creamy delicious pudding that you eat with a spoon is rarely served over here, except at the homes of expats like me.
For the purposes of this recipe, pudding simply means ‘dessert’. This Chocolate Almond Pear Pudding Cake recipe is adapted from Nigella Express. It’s the work of moments and you probably have all the ingredients to make it on hand right now. In fact, why not make it for dessert tonight?
All you have to do is drained some canned pears, arrange them in a buttered cake pan, mix up a quick and easy batter and spread it over top. It does look as though there isn’t going to be enough batter when you first begin to spread it over the pears, but the idea is to leave them sticking out a bit. Just spread the small amount of batter patiently with a knife and it will be fine. Do not be tempted, as I was, to make more batter. This is not a good idea. It should look like this:
Then just bake at about 375°F for about half an hour and you will be rewarded with this:
Light, fluffy cake atop soft, squidgy warm pears, all ready to be served with chocolate sauce or good vanilla ice cream sprinkled with a tiny bit of cocoa powder or garnished with some toasted almond flakes.
- 9 to 12 pear halves from 2 medium cans of pear halves, drained
- 150 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 125 grams white sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon almond flavouring
- 125 grams all purpose (plain) flour
- 25 grams cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 170° for a fan oven).
- Butter an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan.
- Evenly space the pear halves, cut side down, on the base of the dish.
- Cream the butter and the sugar.
- Add the eggs and almond flavouring.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add to the batter and beat until smooth.
- Carefully spoon the batter over the pears and spread as evenly as possible with a knife to nearly cover all the pear halves. It's okay if some of them are peaking out.
- Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched lightly. The skewer test doesn't work here as this is a slightly squidgy cake.
- Allow to sit for about five to ten minutes before cutting into squares to serve.