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olivers travels blogger retreat and chocolate almond and pear cake

choc pear almond-1-14 I was invited to do a cake demo at a bloggers retreat hosted by Olivers travels and I made this chocolate, almond cake with amaretto poached pears and amaretto mascarpone cream. it was really tasty and I think every one enjoyed it. I had such an amazing weekend at the retreat and made so many great friends. we stayed at Amberstone manner in chumleigh it was so beautiful. choc pear almond-1-12 choc pear almond-1-3 choc pear almond-1-7 choc pear almond-1-8 choc pear almond-1-9 choc pear almond-1-13 cake recipe

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 150g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 125ml semi skimmed milk
  • 160g self raising flour
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75ml sour cream
  • 50g flaked almonds
preheat the oven to 160c
in a pan add the milk, butter and chocolate, heat gently until the butter and chocolate has melted then set aside to cool, in a big bowl mix the flour, ground almonds, cocoa, sugars and a pinch of salt then add the eggs and milk together. add the sour cream to the chocolate mixture the pour into the bowl and mix together, finally add the flaked almonds and mix in.
pour into three 20cm loose bottom tins and bake for about 45 minutes or until a knife comes away clean when inserted in the centre of the cake.
  for poached pears
  • 60ml amaretto
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • water (enough to cover)
  • 6 pears

peel the pears and place them in a deep saucepan, then cover with water and add the amaretto, sugar, bay leaves and then score the vanilla pod with a sharp knife and add into the pan, heat gently until it comes to the boil. cut a piece of baking paper to fit the pan and cut a hole in the centre of it and place on to the top of the pan so it floats in top. heat for about 20 minutes. remove the pears with a slotted spoon and place on a plate and cover with tin foil for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and let cool. slice three of the pears discarding the centres and leave the others for the top 0f the cake.

for the cream

  • 300g mascarpone
  • 200ml double cream
  • 60ml amaretto
  • 7 tbsp. icing sugar

whip the cream and mascarpone and icing sugar until peaks start to form then add the amaretto and mix until stiff to build the cake place one layer of sponge on a cake stand and add some of the cream then place some sliced pears on top, crush 3 amaretti biscuits on top (I got some shop bought ones these are optional) and add the next layer, (this recipe makes three layers I used two in the photos above) spoon the rest of the cream on top and use a pallet knife to spread it around the sides of the cake. place the three left over pears on top of the cake, and place a bay leaf into the top, crush some more amaretti biscuits over the top and sprinkle on some sliced almonds.

 

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