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Zingy Spiced Pear & Chocolate Cake


Sponge cake batter:
75 g dark chocolate glaze
175 g soft butter or margarine
100 g brown sugar
1 pinch of salt
4 eggs
175 g wheat flour
40 g starch
1 ½ level tsp baking powder

Spiced pears:
1 untreated lime
800 g ripe pears (e.g. Williams
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 vanilla bean
2 star anises
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground mace

4 tbsp Williams Christ pear brandy

3 tbsp orange marmalade

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Easy to make

1. Wash the lime with hot water, rub dry, thinly peel and cut the peel into very fine strips. Set the zest aside and squeeze the lime. Peel, quarter and slice the pears in a fan-like style, but don't cut all the way through.

2. Combine the lime juice and maple syrup with the scraped vanilla seeds, vanilla bean and the spices, then fry them up in a pan. Add the pears and pear brandy, mix well and leave covered to absorb.

3. Grate the chocolate glaze. Blend the butter or margarine in a bowl using a mixer (beaters) until smooth. Add in the sugar, salt and lime zest while mixing until it forms a batter. Add the eggs one at a time, while mixing on the highest setting. Combine the flour with the starch and baking powder, then briefly blend into your mixture on the medium setting. Now add in the chocolate glaze.

4. Pour and smooth the batter into a springform pan and press the pears in a circular pattern. Keep the pear stock.

5. Slide the pan into a preheated oven (top/bottom heat: 180°C, fan-assisted: 160°C). The cake will take approx. 35 minutes to bake.

6. Remove the vanilla bean and the star anise from the spice stock, then add the marmalade. Bring the sweet stock to the boil and then use it to glaze the hot cake. Leave to cool on a cake rack.

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