Sunday, 9 August 2015

Chocolate And Pear Tart

On a rainy, weekend afternoon, there are very few things better than heading into the kitchen for a baking session, especially when it promises to reward you with a tart at the end of it all. The pears have arrived in the market, signalling that the seasons are changing. The first of the season have arrived, plump and juicy. So, of course, they made it to the tart, paired with chocolate, a timeless combination.
The recipe I have used is from the much loved and much used 'Popina Book of Baking'. It is a chocolate short crust pastry tart that is filled with a chocolate sponge that is then topped off with some pear slices.
Many will wonder if the pears are too delicate a fruit to pair with something as decadent as chocolate. It is something I have wondered about in the past but I have always been proven wrong. Somehow, pears seems to effortlessly stand up to stronger flavours such as chocolate or even blue cheese. Not only does it cut through the richness of chocolate but somehow the chocolate helps to enhance the flavours of the fruit.
The tart is a fair bit of work but I promise you the result makes it all worth it. The crust is a regular short crust that has cocoa added to it. The cocoa, I think, is more for the visual aesthetics rather than for the flavour. Because all of the flavour is in that filling.

The filling bakes into a soft, moist, chocolaty cake whose texture is regularly punctuated by the crunch of the toasted almonds in the fillings as well as those juicy pears on top.
You could pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to serve it as a dinner party dessert but I enjoyed it straight out of the oven, warm with a cup of coffee. Like I said, it is worth all the effort and time spent on it.
Have a beautiful week ahead!!

Chocolate and Pear Tart

Adapted from the 'Popina Book of Baking'

For one 23-cm (9-inch) loose-based fluted tart tin

For the Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry
  • 225 gms plain flour
  • 25 gms cocoa powder
  • 125 gms unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 85 gms demerara caster sugar (the original recipe calls for golden sugar)
  • 1 egg

For the Sponge Dough
  • 45 gms unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 90 gms demerara caster sugar (the original recipe calls for golden sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90 gms plain flour
  • 1 Sponge dough recipe, (recipe given above)
  • 180 gms dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 180 mls single cream
  • 40 gms almonds, blanched, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan and roughly chopped
  • 1 large pear, pealed, halved and cored
  • 3 tablespoon apricot jam, to glaze (optional)


For the Sweet Shortcrust
  • Put the flour, cocoa, butter and sugar in a mixer and pulse until you get crumbs.
  • Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together into a ball.
  • Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Take the chilled dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until 3-4 mm thick.
  • Line the tart tin with the pastry and trim the excess dough around the edges and refrigerate the tin while you get on with preparing the sponge dough.
For the Filling
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 deg C.
  • Put the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Put the cream in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil over low heat, stirring frequently.
  • Pour into the mixing bowl and whisk until you get a smooth cream, then stir in the chopped almonds. Keep the chocolate cream aside while you prepare the sponge dough.
  • Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric whisk.
  • Add the egg and baking powder and combine well.
  • Then gently fold in the flour by hand until evenly combined.
  • Gently fold this sponge dough into the chocolate mixture and mix well.
  • Remove the tart tin from the refrigerator and spoon the sponge dough into the tart shell and spread evenly.
  • Cut the pear into slim wedges (about 12) and scatter over the tart filling.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. The fruit will sink a little into the dough and the sponge will rise up in places.
  • To check if its ready, insert a skewer into the centre of the tart - if it comes out clean you can take it out of the oven. If not, leave in the oven for a few more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes.
  • If you would like to glaze the tart, heat the jam until runny and melted. Brush the jam all over the tart filling and leave for a few minutes before serving.


  1. Hi, I would love you to stop by Food on Friday: Free For All over at Carole's Chatter to add this to the recipe collection! Cheers!

    PS If you would like to be part of the Food on Friday group, just put a reminder in your calendar each week to check out the new theme or email me if you would like a reminder by email. You can also see the themes coming up in one of the tabs at the top of my home page

  2. I haven't seen pears in a while used like this. Absolutely love love this. It's such a pretty tart.

    1. Thanks Asha!! The 'Popina book of baking' has lovely ideas on how to use fruit in completely changed the way I use fruit in my baking!! its such a delightful book with simple recipes that deliver full marks on flavour!! If you can, try and have a look at it.. I think you'll enjoy the book!! xx

  3. I remember this cake I had made once, with pears and chocolate. It was not perfect, turned almost like brownies, but it was soooo good! I miss baking. That looks delicious!!

    1. Thanks Kankana.. infact when my mom had a slice of this tart.. she was like the filling is like a brownie!! In short, you can't go wrong with chocolate!! :)


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