Karen and her husband have become fantastic friends of mine, and we also have the added bonus of them living just around the corner from me. I'm desperate for Winter to end so that we can share more cheese and wine on our deck.Recently it was Karen's birthday, and though I've made a rule that I don't make cakes for colleagues (before you know it it's costing you a small fortune!) I made an exception for her. She has become more than a work colleague to me; Karen is a confidante, a person to share a laugh with, and a very trusted friend.
For Karen I made a chocolate and pear mud cake. And it was pretty damn delicious.
200g unsalted butter, chopped
100g dark chocolate
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup self raising flour, sifted
1 pear, chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius (140 fan forced) and prepare a 20cm cake tin with non stick baking paper. Place butter, chocolate, water and vanilla in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted and well combined. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
Combine sugar and eggs and mix with electric beaters until pale and creamy. Pour chocolate mixture in to egg mixture. Sift in flour and add chopped pear, mixing until well combined.
Bake for 50 mins - 60 mins or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
I baked two smaller cakes and sandwiched them with chocolate chantilly cream and white chocolate shavings.