CHOCOLATE AND PEAR SPONGE
175g/6 oz/3/4 cup butter, softened
175g/6 oz/3/4 cup soft brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150g/5 ½ oz/1 ¼ cups S-R flour
25g/1/2 oz/2 tblspns cocoa powder
2 tblspns milk
2 small pears, peeled, cored and sliced
Grease a 23 cm/8 inch loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and soft brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
Gradually add the beaten eggs to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
Sieve the S-R flour and cocoa powder into the creamed mixture and fold in gently until all of the ingredients are combined.
Stir in the milk, then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the surface with the back of a spoon or knife.
Arrange the pear slices on top of the cake mixture, arranging them in a radiating pattern.
Bake in a preheated oven, 1280 deg. C /350 deg. F /Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour until the cake is just firm to touch. Leave to cool in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack until completely cold before serving.