Friday, October 05, 2007

Putting My Pears Out of Their Misery


Have you ever felt sorry for a piece of fruit? I have. Even though I'm a fruit fanatic, I too am guilty of letting a pear sit in its bowl a tad longer than it should. I blame my market visits for that. Before every trip, I tell myself to stick to my shopping list and not come home with enough produce to feed all of Europe, yet I always succumb to the call of the market man who wants to sell me two kilos for the price of one!

This morning I felt particularly sorry for the last two pears in my fruit bowl. They had been exhibiting the classic signs of distress for a few days already (brown spots) so I took it upon myself to put them out of their misery. As I peeled off their skins, the juices dripping over my hands making an incredible mess, I thought about their ultimate fate- drowning in a bath of chocolate batter!

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Pears

*125ml walnut oil

*150g caster sugar

*3 eggs

*1 tsp vanilla extract

*350g flour

*2 tsps baking powder

*1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

*60g good-quality chocolate powder

*pinch of salt
*2 very ripe pears, cleaned and chopped into small chunks
*powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Sift the dry ingredients and fold them in. The batter will appear too thick. Add the pears. You'll see that this will give the batter that extra bit of moisture it needs. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for one hour on the lowest rack of your oven. Let cool 15 minutes before turning out. Serve with powdered sugar.