85g butter, plus 1tbsp extra for the tin
85g golden caster sugar
85g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3 eggs, separated
85g hazelnuts, toasted and ground in a food processor
4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
icing sugar for dusting
1. Cut circle of baking parchment to fit base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1tbsp butter and brush inside of tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.
2. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot wate. Remove from heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a large bowl until pale and think; fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.
3. 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. Bake for 40 minutes until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked 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 creme fraiche.
(Recipe from Good Food magazine)
Have a lovely Sunday!