Pear Upside Down Chocolate Cake Recipe

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The pears not only provide a flavorful complement to the chocolate, but they also provide moistness to this cake, as well as a decorative touch.
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  • PEARS:
  • 4 pears Anjou or Bosc - peeled, halved lengthwise and cored
  • 1/4 cup currants or golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar - packed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • CAKE:
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans - roasted and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder plus additional for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs - large
Container: 9 inch cake pan, mixer, saucepan, sauté pan, medium bowl
45 mins
1.25 hrs
  • For the pears, lightly butter a nine-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper.
  • heat the butter in a medium saute pan.
  • Add the brown sugar, zest and lemon juice.
  • Stir until the butter is melted and all ingredients are combined.
  • Add the pears, lower the heat to medium low and cover.
  • Simmer, turning once until the pears are soft and juicy.
  • Remove them from the heat.
  • Place 6 of the pear halves, stems towards the center with the rounded sides down, in the prepared pan.
  • Chop the remaining pears and place them back into the sauce along with the currants.
  • Heat for 2-3 minutes, then place half of the mixture in the center of the pears in the cake pan. Set the rest aside for later.
  • For the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Scald the milk in a saucepan, keep warm.
  • Whisk the flour, pecans, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice in a medium bowl.
  • Beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Increase the speed to medium high and add the sugar. Continue beating until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat for one more minute.
  • On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addtion.
  • Turn mixer to low and add the flour mixture a little at a time.
  • When all the flour in incorporated, remove the bowl and fold in the hot milk with a rubber spatula.
  • Gently spread the batter over the pears in the cake pan, trying not to move them.
  • Tap the pan lightly on the counter to settle the batter.
  • Bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, approximately 40-50 minutes.
  • Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes; then invert the cake onto a cake platter.
  • Cool slightly then carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely.
  • To finish the cake, you can dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Pour the reserved pear and currant sauce over the cake and serve each piece with a dollop of whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping.
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