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Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Pear Cake

Gluten free pear and almond cake served on a white striped plate with a red rim, with one slice being cut.
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The lightest flourless chocolate cake with ground almonds and soft ripe pears is all you’ll ever need when the cravings for chocolate get out of control. Gluten-free, this cake is made with toasted ground almonds and gets a beautiful rise from the whisked egg whites. A wonderful dessert to make for a special occasion! We will certainly be making this Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Pear Cake over Christmas!

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Gluten Free Pear and Almond cake next to a dessert fork and three pears on a blue surface.

Forget Dry and Flavourless Chocolate Cake

A chocolate cake is not something we’d order from a menu. Ever. Not that we don’t like chocolate. Quite the opposite, really: we’ve been known to devour a whole bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk with Daim in one sitting. But a good chocolate cake is difficult to come across. Sometimes too dry, sometimes made with cocoa powder only and therefore not chocolatey enough, and sometimes ruined by greasy synthetic tasting frosting. This cake is nothing like that. It is moist, it is dark and it is light in texture with slightly crunchy caramelised sides. What is more, ripe pears are a beautiful addition to cut through all the chocolatey richness of the cake.

This recipe isn’t one of our own. We’ve adapted Barney Desmazery’s recipe for a Flourless Chocolate & Pear Cake. The recipe is wonderful as it is, but we’ve made it simpler by using widely available ground almonds and no alcohol.

Method

Step 1: Prepare the Cake Tin

To start, prepare your 18cm (7in) springform cake tin – we use and love this one here. Grease both the sides and the bottom of the tin. Then stick a circle of baking parchment on the bottom of the tin and grease the baking parchment. Then tip in a tbsp of caster sugar and swish it around so it sticks to both the greased sides and the bottom.

Step 2: Toast the Ground Almonds

The recipe requires you to toast ground almonds. I’ve tried making this by using untoasted almonds and the cake still tasted gorgeous. But toasting the nuts adds another layer of flavour. The cake will taste richer and nuttier if you do. I like to toast the almonds just lightly until they just start to turn golden. Then transfer it onto a large plate to prevent further browning and help it cool quicker.

Step 3: Make The Chocolate Cake with Ground Almonds

Break up dark chocolate (if you are baking for coeliacs, make sure to buy gluten-free chocolate – you’d be surprised how many aren’t). Melt your butter and chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and caster sugar until very pale and increased in volume. When your chocolate-butter mixture has cooled down slightly, mix it into the yolks. Then carefully fold in the toasted ground almonds.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. In three instalments carefully fold the egg whites into the cake mixture, taking care not to knock too much air out. It’s a delicate process. But it results in a well risen, very light-textured cake.

Step 4: Arrange the Pears

Your cake batter is ready. All you need to do is arrange your pears on top. Core, halve and peel your pears. I like arranging them in a circle around the outer edge, cut side down. Don’t press them into the cake batter, they should naturally sink whilst the cake bakes.

Pears arranged on a Flourless Chocolate cake mixture in a spring form cake tin.

Step 5: Bake

Bake in the oven at 160°C Fan for 40-45 minutes. Then leave to cool down in the tin for 15 minutes, before releasing. This Gluten-Free Chocolate & Pear Cake is simply wonderful served warm!

Gluten-Free Chocolate and pear cake served on a white plate with red rim.

What To Serve Chocolate Pear Cake With?

This flourless chocolate cake is wonderful served warm with a dollop of either:

  • Creme Fraiche
  • Greek Yoghurt
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

Other Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes

For other Gluten-Free desserts and bakes, have a look at:

Recipe Card

Gluten-Free Chocolate

Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Pear Cake

The lightest chocolate cake with ground almonds and soft ripe pears is all you'll ever need when that craving for chocolate gets out of control. Gluten-free, this cake is made with toasted ground almonds and gets a beautiful rise from the whisked egg whites. A wonderful dessert to make for a special occasion! We will certainly be making this one over Christmas!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine American, British, Gluten Free
Servings 6 portions
Calories 403 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 85 g unsalted butter + 1tsp for greasing
  • 85 g caster sugar + 1 tbsp for the tin
  • 85 g dark chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 3 medium eggs separated
  • 85 g ground almonds
  • 3 ripe pears peeled, halved and cored
  • icing sugar for decoration
  • creme fraiche to serve (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Line the base of an 18cm (7in) springform cake tin with a circle of baking parchment. Grease the top of the baking parchment and the sides of the tin with butter. Then tip a tbsp of caster sugar in and swirl it around so that sugar sticks to the greased tin all around.
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan.
  • In a large frying pan, toast your ground almonds just until lightly browned and aromatic. Remove from the pan immediately to prevent further toasting, and leave to cool completely.
  • Place butter and broken up dark chocolate in a microwave-safe dish. Melt in the microwave in short bursts, mixing in between, until all melted.
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold the cooled chocolate and butter mixture into the yolks. Then fold in the toasted almonds.
  • In a separate large bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Very carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three installments. Try to not knock too much air out.
  • Spoon the cake mix into the prapared cake tin. Then arrange the peeled and cored pear halves cut side down. Don't press them down, they will sink naturally whilst cooking.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. The cake should be cooked through, but very soft in the middle. Leave it to cook for 15 minutes before releasing from the tin. Dust with icing sugar.
  • We like serving it warm with a dollop of creme fraiche. It is also great cold the next day, or you can reheat by placing it in the microwave for 20 seconds per piece.

Notes

Adapted Barney Desmazery’s recipe for a Flourless Chocolate & Pear Cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 403kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 7gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 37mgPotassium: 239mgFiber: 6gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 501IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Almond Chocolate Cake, Chocolate & Pear Cake, Chocolate & Pear Cake with Almond Flour, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Cake with Almond Flour, Chocolate Cake without Flour, Flourless Chocolate & Pear Cake, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Gluten Free Baking, Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Chocolate & Pear Cake, Gluten Free Chocolate Cake, Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe, Light Chocolate Cake
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6 Replies to “Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Pear Cake”

  1. 5 stars
    This looks absolutely mouth watering. I’ve been thinking about going gluten-free, but I haven’t because I love my desserts. This is proof that I won’t have to give them up!

    1. Thanks, Beth! I completely understand not giving up gluten due to undying love for desserts! I could not do that either 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Chocolate and pears make such a delightful combination! This is such a delicious cake for just about any occasion! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Absolutely – chocolate and pears make a wonderful couple! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Everything in this recipe blended so perfectly! I might even bring this dish with me to my next holiday gathering. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Tara! It’s perfect for the Christmas season 🙂

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