Dark chocolate pear pistachio cake

After discovering the Gourmet Traveller magazine in a swanky hotel in Melbourne while I was on business travel, which basically is a magazine where I am literally the exact target audience, I’ve been exploring their website for new delicious recipes.  I found this one and immediately wanted to try it.  It’s quite an easy cake to make (although grinding up the chocolate and pistachios in my blender did almost break it), and I loved the idea of combining chocolate, pear, and pistachios, which are three of my favourite things.  I made this for a dinner party along with the crepe cake and one other dessert that will be posted soon.  But really this could almost be a Monday evening cake as it doesn’t take long to mix up or bake.  Use high quality dark chocolate here for maximum effect!  This is a great recipe if you are looking for something a bit fancier than cookies or brownies but don’t want a multi-layered complicated mess.  One layer of deliciousness is all you need.

Dark chocolate pear pistachio cake (adapted from Gourmet Traveller)


  • 200 grams dark chocolate (70% content is ideal), chopped
  • 70 grams (3/4 cup) pistachio kernels, plus extra to serve
  • 150 grams (1 and 1/3 sticks) softened butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 grams (1 cup) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pear, cored and chopped – my pear was not entirely ripe and this was a good thing.  It should be just barely ripe or a bit unripe – too mushy and it won’t taste as good when baked

Chocolate ganache

  • 150 grams dark chocolate (for me the darker the better, I think 70% is also ideal here), chopped
  • 150 ml pouring cream (although light cream would work in this scenario, heavy cream is better…your arteries will have to take the hit)

Preheat the oven to 160 C / 320 F.  Process chocolate and pistachios in a food processor or blender until coarse crumbs form.  If you don’t have one you can just put them in a plastic bag and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon or hammer.  I processed mine for a bit but still left some bigger chunks.  Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well combined.  Then stir in the baking powder and flour.  Dump in the pistachio and chocolate mixture and finally mix in the cut up pear.

Pour into a 22 cm diameter springform pan or if you don’t have one of those a normal circular pan should be fine too. Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.  It should take 30-40 minutes.  Cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes.

For the chocolate ganache, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.  Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat to just below boiling, add to chocolate, let it stand for 3-5 minutes, then stir until smooth.  Set it aside until it’s thickened (5-10 minutes), and then spread it over the top of the cake.  If you’ve taken it out of the pan if it was a springform one, cover the sides as well.  Scatter the remaining pistachios over the top of the cake and set aside to set for about 20-30 minutes.  The cake will keep in an airtight container for 3 days or you can put it in the fridge for a bit longer.

IMG_4989 Mixing the dark chocolate and pistachio pieces into the batter

IMG_4990Mixing in the pear

IMG_4992Finished frosted cake with the pistachios sprinkled on top…as you can see I did not bother to remove it from the pan and just served it like that…less clean up

IMG_5003I put the leftovers in a tin and you can see it holds its shape well in all sorts of little slices

This is a fantastic cake that’s actually really simple to make.  If you want to cut down on time you can eliminate the ganache frosting entirely and it would taste great on its own.  I love the addition of the pear and the cake is moist and has great texture due to the pieces of pistachio throughout.  With the chocolate ganache, it’s definitely fancy enough for a dinner party or birthday occasion. And the leftovers are delicious.  This was a really pleasant change from my typical baking and I loved it!

2 Responses to “Dark chocolate pear pistachio cake”
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  1. […] because I am serving other intensely chocolate desserts at the same time (in this case, the dark chocolate pear pistachio cake and the chocolate salted caramel crepe cake) and I know they need to be balanced out.  This […]

  2. […] sampling of things I was baking/cooking one year ago: Dark chocolate pear pistachio cake, pizza, and mini coconut tarts with lemon […]

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