Thursday, April 28, 2011
Pear and Chocolate Loaf
This recipe came about when I realized I had a few leftover pears that I wanted to put to good use. I wanted to make an easy dessert that would combine both pears and chocolate -a heavenly combination! Pear pieces, when baked in this type of loaf, soften and meld beautifully with the other flavours to create an airy yet incredibly tasty treat. A little orange zest really boosts the flavours and lightens the cake and the simple citrus icing makes the loaf that much more special.
This loaf could also be served at breakfast, in which case I would suggest omitting the icing. The loaf is incredibly versatile: it's perfect as the first sweet bite of the day, as well as for an afternoon snack or for dessert, anytime. And, the best part? It takes minutes to put together!
Pear and Chocolate Loaf
40 grams of bittersweet chocolate
140 grams of butter, softened to room temperature
150 grams of granulated sugar
160 grams of all purpose flour
1 tsp of baking powder
2 pears (not too ripe)
1 orange, zested
40 grams of cocoa
1 cup of confectioner's sugar
2 tsps of lemon juice
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and reserve. In a mixer bowl, add the softened butter and sugar. Beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 batches, beating the mixture until just homogeneous. Add the orange zest.
Peel and core the pears and cut them into small bite-size pieces. Add the pear to the batter and fold until the pear is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Place the batter to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425F. Remove the batter from the fridge and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, and lower the temperature to 350F. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out just clean.
Let the loaf cool for a few minutes and gently unmold onto a cooling rack.
While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Add the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice to a bowl and whisk. The consistency of the icing must be thin enough to spread on top of the cake, but thick enough to be opaque. Add a few drizzles of water until you reach the perfect consistency. Once the loaf has completely cooled down, drizzle the icing on top of the loaf and carefully even out using an offset spatula or flat butter knife. Enjoy!