GBBO Week 1: Rich Spiced Chocolate Pear Cake

If you’re anything like me, then you got way too excited when the advert for The Great British Bake Off returned to our TV screens. I watch barely any TV (and a lot of YouTube), but this is the one time in my year when I give myself up to blankets and PJs and curling up on the settee to watch Paul and Mary grill amateur bakers over their crème pat. I love it. Every single minute. No phone calls are taken, emails answered, or IG comments replied to during this time.

I used to have quite a passion for baking- I was always baking. I actually sold cakes to people when I couldn’t find a job before I left for uni. Somehow it fell by the wayside for a while (because I actually enjoy eating savoury more than sweet, and so cooking is better for feeding my own stomach). But, for the duration of the Bake Off, I’ll be sharing a baking creation with you each and every week, corresponding to what the theme of the week is on the show. Meaning this week is cake. The recipe is adapted from one I found in a book called Everyday Easy Cakes & Bakes (reference at the bottom, in case you want to buy it). It’s very simple, but great for a dessert. I just swapped out some of butter for Greek yoghurt to lighten the texture and taste, added cinnamon and ginger, tweaked the type of milk used, and added in some more flour. I wanted to share an apple cake recipe with everyone as well, but somehow this cake won my family’s favour instead. But who knows, maybe you’ll even be getting a few extra baking recipes while I’m at it…


Ingredients

  • 62g margarine (I used Stork)
  • 62g thick Greek yoghurt (I used Total)
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g + 2tbsp wholemeal self raising flour, sieved
  • 50g unsweetened cocoa
  • 50g dark chocolate (I used Aldi’s 85%)
  • 2 pears, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 150ml plant based milk, or cow’s milk, or whatever milk you use
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 175g golden caster sugar (I used Billington’s unrefined)


Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180*c, or 170*c if it’s a fan oven. Line the base of a loose bottomed cake tin with baking paper, and grease the sides.
  • In a large bowl cream together the margarine and the sugar. I used electric beaters for this whole thing, as it was easier, quicker, and a hell of a lot less messy. Once the margarine and sugar resemble a kind of loose sandy texture, then beat in the Greek yoghurt- be careful not to over beat, stop once it’s just come together.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 1/4 of the flour with each.
  • Beat in the cocoa, adding a the milk a little at a time. Don’t worry if the texture looks too dry, just keep adding in that milk.
  • Fold in the chopped up pear and chocolate, and then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, and the top of the cake is springy.
  • Cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin, and then carefully remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Serve hot with vanilla ice cream…

 

Inspiration source: Everyday Easy Cakes & Bakes, Covent Garden Books, Great Britain, 2011

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