Today’s recipe is one of my new all time favorites. What can I say, chocolate and pear just work together oh so well. I also find this cake to be particularly visually attractive. It just has that elegant feeling. I’m definitely going to make it for up coming holidays (Maybe even Thanksgiving? Even though it’s not all that traditional it might be fun to shake it up.) or company, or just because I keep craving it.
I’m a firm believer in giving proper credit where it’s due, so I have to tell you that the inspiration for this desert actually came from a cookbook I reviewed recently, Rustic Fruit Deserts. As you may hae figured out from my review I’m pretty much in love with this cookbook. So I’ve been flipping through it a lot lately and I keep eyeing a recipe for Chocolate Pear Upside Down Cake. And while other ingredient combinations in other recipes actually sounded better to me I kept coming back to this Chocolate Pear thing. Perhaps because the photo was just so visually stunning? After about the 99th time stopping at this recipes page I decided I must immediately make this cake. Unfortunately I was out of 90% of the ingredients called for. But at this point I HAD to have chocolate pear cake, so I completely winged it, to very good result.
So like Rustic Fruits’s recipe my cake has pears, chocolate, and you get to flip it, but there the similarities end. This is a completely new recipe created in a mad scientist frenzy in my kitchen! I think I mention this so emphatically because I’m actually really proud for this recipe… it nails it. I never post anything I don’t think tastes good but we all have our favorites, right?
Later with a better stocked pantry I had the opportunity to make Rustic Fruit’s Recipe and…confession…I totally made my own recipe again. So truthfully I have no idea how Rustic Fruit’s turns out. But if I had to venture a guess, since everything else I’ve tried from the book is fantastic, I imagine their recipe is fantastic too. I still highly recommend the book. But meanwhile go ahead and make some Chocolate Pear Upside Down Cake!
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ripe pears, pealed and sliced (try for 12 sliced per pear)
- 8 tablespoons of salted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coco powder
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 ounces semi sweet mini chocolate chips (minis are important)
- 1. Preheat oven to 350*. Prepare a 10" spring form pan by greasing well with butter.
- 2. In a small saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, melting sugar into butter. Stir well so the mixture does not burn. Once sugar is dissolved, pour mixture into prepared pan. Mixture will be thick and you may need a rubber spatula to spread evenly.
- 3. Place the pear slices on top of the mixture in a circular pattern. Set aside and allow to cool while you prepare the cake batter.
- 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer add 8 tablespoons of butter and 1 1/4 cup of sugar. Cream together.
- 5. Add 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Quickly beat into butter/sugar mixture.
- 6. Add 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup coco powder, and 3/4 cup milk. Mix well, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- 4. Add 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips and mix quickly.
- 5. Pour the cake batter on top of the cooled topping and pear mixture, spread with a rubber spatula to make even.
- 6. Bake at 350* for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. (If you hit a chocolate chip you may get chocolate smears. This does not necessarily mean the cake isn't done.)
- 7. Cool until bottom of the pan is comfortable to touch. Gently turn pan over a plate to release cake.