- Dish type
- Fruit desserts
- Pear desserts
This tiramisu is so much lighter than the traditional version and the pears make it appealing to the whole family! If you haven't got sponge fingers, butter biscuits such as petit beurre biscuits work well.
Be the first to make this!
- 4 egg whites
- 8 egg yolks
- 200g caster sugar
- 250g mascarpone
- 200g whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 500ml strong coffee, cooled
- 1 (400g) tin pears in syrup, drained and chopped
- 2 packets sponge fingers
- 50g plain chocolate, grated
MethodPrep:15min ›Extra time:2hr chilling › Ready in:2hr15min
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff; set aside.
- In a jug, beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until pale, beat in the mascarpone, whipping cream and vanilla. When the mixture is very smooth, fold in the beaten egg whites.
- Dip each sponge finger briefly in the coffee and layer 1/3 of them into a dish. Cover with half of the pears, 1/3 of the mascarpone cream, and 1/3 of the grated chocolate.
- Cover with another 1/3 of the sponge fingers, the remaining pears, 1/3 of the mascarpone cream and then 1/3 of the grated chocolate. Layer with the remaining sponge fingers, mascarpone cream and finish with the remaining grated chocolate.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and serve very cold.
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How to Make the Softest Italian Pear and Almond Chocolate Cake
This Pear and Almond Chocolate Cake is a delicious and versatile dessert that works wonderfully both as an indulgent dessert to finish a romantic Valentine Day’s dinner AND as a side for your daily coffee(s).
To the Italians, it is in most cases the latter, but that does not mean this pear and almond chocolate cake cannot make a perfect special occasion dessert. To me, it works the same way Tiramisù would: “wow!” And “can I have more, please?”
Imagine the combination of delicate, soft and juicy pears and the crunchiness offered by the crushed almonds. Add to that the richness of chocolate and the result is an explosion of tastes on your palate! Nothing short than a heavenly dessert to the gluttonous!
As it is often the case with the Italian cuisine, this cake is easy to make and so scrumptious – a guarantee that you will impress the beneficiary no matter the occasion!
Ingredients for Pear and Almond Chocolate Cake
Almonds (crushed and flakes, slightly roasted)
Lemon zest and juice (always use organic to avoid chemicals and wax in peel)
Start by washing and peeling the pears. Slice half a pear for decoration and cut the rest in 1-2 cm cubes. Cover with lemon juice to prevent from oxidising.
Roast and ground the almonds. Separately, slightly roast the flaked almonds for decoration to enhance the taste.
In a large bowl, mix the coconut sugar with the egg yolks and lemon zest. Use a hand mixer at low velocity to start, then increase to high and keep whisking until the volume almost doubles and the consistency becomes that of soft cream.
Add the milk and melted and butter (cooled). Mix with a spoon.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and cacao powder in a large bowl and incorporate it one spoon at the time into the creamy mix.
Add the crushed almonds and the almond essence.
Separately, add a little salt to the egg whites and beat with a handheld mixer until stiff. Add it gradually to the creamy mix and incorporate slowly, using a spoon.
Add the cut pears and mix carefully not to crush the pears.
Preheat the oven to 170 C Fan/180 regular/350 F/ Gas mark 4. Place paper parchment on a round baking tin (mine has 24 cm in diameter it is OK to use a smaller one, but I would not recommend a larger one – your cake will be too flat.)
Empty the composition into the tray and spread it evenly without pressing down too much.
Sprinkle a layer of roasted almond flakes, then decorate with the pear slices.
Bake for 40 minutes and do the toothpick test to check that your chocolate, pear and almond cake is ready. If the toothpick comes out wet, you might need an additional 5-10 minutes baking.
Transfer to a rack and wait until cool to sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve with coffee or a glass of Prosecco if the occasion is right.
If it lasts, you could store the pear and almond chocolate cake in the fridge for 2-3 days (cover with cling film) or in the freezer for up to three months. Preferably cut it in slices before freezing for easier defrosting.
I have made this Italian delight many times, and it never lasted more than a day and the next morning at our house. We put it down to being coffee addicts, but the truth is this cake is simply outstanding!
And there is that funny thing with visitors always arriving when there’s something baking in the oven. A bit of a mystery as of how that happens. I’m still unsure how long the wavelength of baking aroma is, but I’m sure these mysterious appearances have something to do with complex baking physics laws. As a result, my cakes will never see the inside of the freezer!
If you've never baked with frangipane before, it's time to start. The nutty mix comes together in a food processor, and no matter what nut you choose, it'll be delightful with pears. In this recipe, toasted hazelnuts meet Bosc or Anjou pears, glazed with a little apricot preserves for shine.
The best fall sangria starts with pomegranate juice, fresh ginger, red wine, and sparkling cider. Thin slices of pear sit in the mix for 4 hours you'll want to fish them out of your glass to eat every one.
For spiced pears:
Combine first 6 ingredients in large saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Add pears and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until pears are just tender when pierced with knife, about 35 minutes. Transfer liquid with pears to large bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to plate. Boil poaching liquid in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until slightly thickened and reduced to generous 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Strain into 2-cup measuring cup discard spices in strainer. Cool. Cover and chill pears and pear syrup until cold.
Combine white chocolate, pear brandy, and 1/4 cup water in top of double boiler set over simmering water. Stir until smooth (mixture will be very liquidy). Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean discard bean. Transfer white chocolate mixture to large bowl gradually add mascarpone, whisking until mixture is smooth. Cool mascarpone mixture until barely lukewarm.
Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture in 4 additions. Cover and chill white chocolate mousse until set, about 3 hours. DO AHEAD: Pears and mousse can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
For trifle assembly:
Cut pears lengthwise in half and remove cores and stems cut halves lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Arrange ladyfingers, rounded sides down, in single layer in bottom of 12-cup trifle dish (about 8 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep), covering bottom completely (using about 15 ladyfingers). Drizzle 5 tablespoons pear syrup evenly over ladyfingers. Using small offset spatula, spread 1/3 of white chocolate mousse over ladyfingers, making layer slightly thicker around outer edges of dish to allow mousse to be more visible (center of mousse layer will be thin). Starting at outer edges of dish, place pear slices in single layer with curved edges against sides of dish atop mousse, covering completely. Repeat layering of ladyfingers, syrup, mousse, and pears 2 more times. Cover with fourth layer of ladyfingers (some ladyfingers and pear slices may be left over). Drizzle ladyfingers evenly with 5 tablespoons syrup. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate trifle and remaining pear syrup separately.
Using electric mixer, beat 2 cups whipping cream in large bowl until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup pear syrup and beat until stiff peaks form. Working in batches, transfer cream to large pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe rosettes all over top of trifle, mounding slightly in center. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger. Garnish with chocolate curls. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.
Sift powdered sugar over trifle just before serving.
* Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese sold at many supermarkets and at Italian markets.
** Available in the bakery or bread section of some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.
TEST-KITCHEN TIP: To make chocolate curls, place one 3 1/2-ounce bar of high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina) on a plate and microwave on high at 5-second intervals just until slightly softened, but not hot or beginning to melt. Using vegetable peeler and starting at one long edge of the chocolate bar, shave white chocolate into curls. If the shaved chocolate breaks into small shards, it's not soft enough, so place in microwave again for a few seconds. If the chocolate becomes too soft, let it stand at room temperature or chill briefly until it firms up a bit.
Chocolate Tiramisu Recipe
- Dark Fantasy Cookies or Any Biscuits - 20
- Black Coffee - 1 cup
- Mascarpone Cheese - 1 cup
- Icing Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Whipped Cream - 1 cup
- Chocolate Sauce - 1/4 cup
- Chocolate sprinkle and gratings for topping
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!
Prosecco-Poached Pear Tiramisu
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There’s not much wasted in this coffee-free version of the Italian dessert classic: sparkling wine is used to poach the pears and to plump the ladyfingers.
- 2 cups Prosecco
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 strip lemon zest
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 3 Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, or Concorde pears, peeled, quartered, and cored
- 2 8-oz. pkg. light whipped cream cheese
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup low-fat milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 3.5-oz. pkg. ladyfingers
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup grated bittersweet chocolate
1. To make Pears: Combine Prosecco, sugar, and lemon zest in saucepan. Split vanilla bean, scrape seeds into saucepan, and add vanilla pod. Bring to a boil. Add pears, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until pears are tender, but not soft. Cover, and cool pears in liquid. Drain cooled pears, remove vanilla pod, and reserve poaching liquid. Slice pears.
2. To make Tiramisu: Pulse cream cheese, sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, and milk in food processor until smooth. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into mixture, and pulse until combined.
3. Line 11- x 7-inch baking dish with ladyfingers. Brush with poaching liquid. Top with half of pear slices. Spread half of cream cheese mixture over Pears, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup chocolate. Repeat layering with remaining ladyfingers, poaching liquid, pear slices, cream cheese mixture, cocoa powder, and chocolate. Chill overnight.
Chocolate-Pear Upside-Down Pudding
I got this idea from my mate, Paul Rankin, a fantastic chef and friend from my Ready Steady Cook days. It’s the ultimate cheat’s pud because it uses ready-made muffins, but is none the worse for that. Thanks Paul.
Pre-heat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Thickly smear the bottom of a 20-cm (8-inch) ovenproof frying pan with the butter and sprinkle over the sugar.
Peel the pears, cut them into quarters and remove the cores. Place them in a bowl and toss them with the lemon juice to stop them from going brown. Drain off any excess lemon juice, then tip them into the prepared frying pan. Place over a medium heat and cook for 7–10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to stop the pears from sticking, until the butter and sugar caramelize and turn toffee-coloured and the pears are just tender. You might need to lower the heat a little, depending on how quickly the pears are cooking.
Crumble the chocolate muffins into pieces and scatter them evenly over the pears. Cover with an ovenproof plate or the base of a flan tin, press down gently to bind everything together slightly, and leave the plate in place. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the pears are completely tender but still holding their shape.
Remove the frying pan from the oven and leave the pudding to cool for 30 minutes so that all the juices have time to be well absorbed and the caramel can set slightly.
To serve, remove the plate and loosen the edges of the pudding with a round-bladed knife. Cover the top of the pan with an inverted serving plate, take hold of both the plate and the pan, then turn them over together. Remove the frying pan, checking to see that the pudding is now on the plate, and serve cut into wedges with a spoonful of crème fraîche.
Ingredients Chocolate Pear Cake
600 g ripe pears
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp powdered sugar or maple syrup
100 g chocolate semi sweet
160 g butter (room temperature)
3 eggs (medium size)
110 g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar Dr Oetker, 0.3oz – How to make Vanilla Sugar –
15 g unsweetened cocoa
240 g flour
0.5oz baking powder (not baking soda) pref. from Dr Oetker
80 ml heavy cream or milk
70 ml egg liqueur (optional) – How to Make Egg Liqueur –
3 tbsp apricot jam
For an Authentic German Dinner Experience
In a medium saucepan, combine the marsala, sugar, water and vanilla and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears, cover with a cartouche (a round piece of baking paper to fit the saucepan) and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for 5 to 8 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove pears from liquid and set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut pears wedges in half.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer beat the mascarpone on low speed until smooth and gradually add the 3 tbsp sugar. Gently fold in the yoghurt and refrigerate until needed.
Dip half the sponge fingers into the coffee, 1 at a time for a few seconds, and arrange in a single layer, trimming to fit, over the base of a 6 to 8 cup capacity dish (I used a 20cm x 20cm dish – at least 6cm deep).
Arrange half the pears on top of the sponge fingers and drizzle with a little of the poaching liquid.
Use a spatula to spread half the mascarpone mixture over the pears. Repeat with remaining biscuits dipped in coffee, pears, a drizzle of poaching liquid and remaining mascarpone mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Serve dusted with cocoa powder, topped with grated chocolate and hazelnuts, if desired.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes, until smooth. Add ricotta and beat for a further 2 minutes, until combined. Add cream and whisk for 1-2 minutes, until combined. Reduce speed and add marsala, then juice, until just combined (don’t over-whip or it will curdle). Gently whip through mascarpone. You should have a light but thick whipped creamy mixture. Spoon into a bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the coffee syrup, put hot coffee and sugar in a bowl, stir to dissolve, then add marsala and amaretto. Set aside to cool.
Put chocolate in a food processor and use pulse function to chop into rubble. Toss in sifted cocoa.
Using a serrated knife, slice sponge cake horizontally into 2 even rounds. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat extra cream, icing sugar and vanilla into soft peaks. Chill until needed.
Dollop 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over base of a 30cm round (6-8cm deep) ceramic dish, then dust with extra cocoa.
Put a sponge half, cut side up, on mascarpone mixture. Drizzle with 1/3 of the coffee syrup, dust with cocoa, sprinkle over 1/3 of the chocolate rubble and 1/2 of the biscotti.
Dollop remaining mascarpone mixture over cake. Dust with cocoa. Top with remaining sponge half, drizzle with 1/2 of the remaining coffee syrup and sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining rubble and remaining biscotti. Drizzle with remaining coffee syrup.
Top with whipped cream and remaining rubble. Dust with cocoa. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve.