I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing but I’ve been thinking about this cake ever since the moment the last piece was gone (about a month ago now!). This has posed a wee bit of a problem every time I see a pear or a fig at the market so I really have to take matters into my own hands and make this cake again, very soon. I have been buying bags of local pears from the market almost on a weekly basis now with the hopes of making this on my mind, but before they’ve even had a chance to all fully ripen they keep getting eaten by a 4 and a 30 something year old! Help!! I will make this cake again, I’m determined, maybe even for our Thanksgiving celebration, but it will definitely have to be soon, before I go crazy! I found the basis for this cake recipe last summer and have made it several times since then with strawberry, rhubarb and a few other variations to the original recipe and it was great. This time around though I was inspired by the looks of this cake and made an adventurous leap with the addition of a layer of soft chocolate, ripe pears and topped it off with succulent, fresh figs. I am not a cake lover by any means but I think this moist cake with a chocolatey, fruity middle, a buttery crumble crust, and topped with tart figs and billowy, freshly whipped cream qualifies as the ultimate cake experience, if you ask me. But don’t take my word for it, make this cake for yourself, you definitely won’t regret it!
Chocolate, Fig and Pear Cake
For the Crust:
3/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 stick unsalted Butter
pinch of Salt (if you’re using salted butter, omit the salt)
For the Cake:
3 large ripe Pears (peeled, cored and cut into 4 long pieces)
4 fresh ripe Figs (washed and cut into 4 pieces)
1/2 cup (100 grams) Sugar
1 package Dr. Oetker Bourbon Vanilla, the seeds from a vanilla bean
or 1/2 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs Heavy Cream
2/3 cup (75 grams) Flour or Ground Almonds*
7 oz (200 grams) semi sweet Baking Chocolate (melted)
6 oz (150 grams) Marzipan (shredded)
3 Eggs (separated)
3-4 Tbs ground Flax Seed
*I have made this cake with only flour, only ground almonds or half and half and it comes out great every time.
Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in pieces of cold butter with a pastry cutter or in a food processor until grainy and starts to resemble a crumble topping. Press into the bottom and sides of a greased pie pan, deep dish tart pan or spring form pan. In a large bowl mix the egg yolks with the sugar, and vanilla using a whisk or hand blender. Stir in the shredded marzipan and heavy cream. Then add in the flour (almond meal) and ground flax seed and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add a third of the whites to the batter and stir in to lighten. Then gently fold in the rest of the whipped egg whites. Pour 1/3 of the batter over the crust. Mix 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream into the melted chocolate until well combined. As best you can spread half of the chocolate mixture onto the dough. Lay out all the pear slices on top of the chocolate then pour the rest of the chocolate over the pears. Pour the rest of the dough over the pears and chocolate and spread out evenly. Press the cut figs into the cake batter but let the tops show. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool and serve with freshly whipped cream on top. Enjoy!