Monday, 22 February 2016

Chocolate and pear not upside-down pudding

I saw this recipe, read the instructions and there were things that I didn't like.

Firstly it required putting skillet or frying pan in the oven. Now I know that some frying pans are simply not meant for the oven. I think mine would be OK, but why would I want to risk it?

Secondly, the cake, which has gooey elements, needs to be turned upside-down and there were cautionary words in the instructions to "be careful not to burn yourself". I'm very good at burning myself so I have adapted the recipe to avoid melting frying pan handles and also to avoid heat-related injuries. If you do burn yourself then don't come running to me - I've removed the highest risk element.

You will need a frying pan (not for the oven) and a pie dish - approx 20-25cm in diameter. I'd say a tart or quiche dish wouldn't be deep enough.

You can do quite a bit of preparation ahead of the cooking bit allowing you to appear super organised as you just chuck everything together at the last minute.

Serves 4-8 based on level of appetite and greed


  • 35g butter (preferably unsalted)
  • 250g light brown sugar
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled, cored and thickly sliced (I find pears to be fickle beasts when it comes to ripeness so I used the drained contents of two tins of pears)
  • 150g plain chocolate
  • 180g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200ml buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, and frankly who does, then use milk soured with lemon juice - you add the lemon juice, wait a bit and the milk goes all yucky - perfect buttermilk substitute)
  • 75ml vegetable oil (I like to use corn oil)


  • Melt the butter in a frying pan
  • Stir in half the sugar and heat for a couple of minutes stirring continuously until it becomes a light caramel colour
  • Take off the heat and scatter in the pears
  • Ensure the pears are coated in the sugar mixture and then transfer to the pie dish
  • Break the chocolate into bite-sized pieces (or if you’re as much of a glutton as me, maybe half bite-sized pieces)
  • Scatter the chocolate pieces amongst the pears in the dish
  • In a clean bowl mix the flour, cocoa, bicarb and baking powder
  • In a separate jug or bowl which together the eggs, remaining sugar, buttermilk and oil
  • Mix the flour mixture with the egg mixture to form a batter.  This can now be kept in the fridge until needed for the cooking bit.
  • When you’re ready for your domestic god or goddess moment, turn the oven on to 180degrees C (fan).
  • When the oven is at the right temperature pour the batter on top of the pear and sugar and then bake for 40 minutes.
  • Stand for five minutes prior to serving.

The squidgy, oozy nature of this dessert is by design not accident.

Delicious with ice cream, cream or the filthy, dirty squirty aerosol cream that lives in our fridge.

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