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What is this chocolate pear torte ?Lucy and Ethel, Sonny and Cher, Ben and Jerry…see the theme here? These are all famous duos where the sum is greater than the parts. Sure, they can function on their own, but put them together and magic happens. And boy do I have a winning combination for you today. Red wine and chocolate.
Simple Chocolate Torte
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’ve had chocolate on my mind. My husband and I plan to celebrate with a quiet dinner at home and I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with a unique and chocolaty dish to serve. As much as I love a simple chocolate torte, this year I want to wow him with a dessert that has a unique twist.
I stumbled across this recipe for a Chocolate Pear Torte and bing bing bing…light bulbs went off!
I had just prepared some beautiful red wine-poached pears for a dinner party and had a couple to spare. The pears were poached in red wine, spices, and splash of citrus, and the poaching liquid reduced into a sweet, spiced syrup that was practically begging to be paired with chocolate.
Rich chocolate torte
I sliced the poached pears and baked them into this rich chocolate torte so there would be a bite of pear in every forkful. This cake is fabulous on its own, but a drizzle of red wine syrup and dollop of whipped cream really elevate it. I also added a dash of ground cardamom to the whipped cream to highlight the spices in the pears and just a tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar to the cake for sweetness.
Combination Of Chocolate
If the combination of chocolate, pears, and red wine isn’t enough to make you swoon, how about getting a double dose of antioxidants? Both red wine and chocolate contain resveratrol, which is said to cut down on cellular damage that’s been linked to cancer and heart disease. Not only will you be treating your special someone to delicious dessert, you’ll be giving his heart a boost in more ways than one!
Chocolate Pear Torte Recipe
- 1 strip orange peel (2-inch strip)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods, crushed
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 piece of ginger (1-inch piece)
- ½ 750-millilter bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ orange, juiced
- 2 firm, ripe pears (such as Bosc)
<strong>Chocolate Torte:</strong><br /><br />
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 tblsps unsalted butter
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup whole milk, warmed
- 2 red wine-poached pears (recipe to follow), thinly sliced
<strong>Whipped Cream:</strong><br /><br />
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cardomom
<strong>For the Poached Pears:</strong><br /><br />
- Lay out a piece of cheesecloth and place the orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves and ginger in the center. Gather the edges and tie securely with twine.
- Combine wine, brown sugar, lemon juice and orange juice in a large pot, stir well, then add the cheesecloth bundle.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over low heat.
- Peel the pears, leaving their stems intact and take a small slice off the bottom of each pear so the bottom is flat. Cut out the core from the bottom with a paring knife or melon-baller.
- Place pears in the poaching liquid, cover the pot and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until a pear can be easily pierced with a knife. Turn the pears occasionally, so they cook evenly.
- Remove pears, increase the heat to high and reduce the liquid by one half.
<strong>For the Chocolate Torte:</strong><br /><br />
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 9-inch round springform or cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit and coat it with cooking spray.
- Set a large stainless steel or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the butter and chocolate to bowl; melt, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of the sugar and the brown sugar; beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir in 1/4 cup of the milk. Add the remaining flour mixture and milk and mix.
- Pour the batter into pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Arrange the pear slices in a circle on top.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan 20 minutes and then remove, pulling off parchment paper. Cool completely on a wire rack 10 minutes more.
<strong>For the Whipped Cream:</strong><br /><br />
- Whip the cream with confectioners sugar and cardamom until it holds soft peaks.