Mulled Wine Pears Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

Cake (for two 20cm round molds):

  • 225 ml cooking oil
  • 225g white or brown sugar
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 200g flour
  • 70g cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 150g Greek yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • 350 ml red blends (Rioja, Merlot, Cabernet, Bordeaux, Syrah, Pinot Noir)

Mulled Wine Poached Pears

  • 750 ml red wine
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 whole star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • peel and juice of 1 orange
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 firm just-ripe pears cut in pieces and 2-3 whole pears for decor

Cream Cheese Filling/Frosting

  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 280 ml heavy cream
  • 100 g confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • poached pears pieces

Preparation

Cake

  1. Preheat oven at 180 OC.
  2. Combine the oil and sugar in a bowl and add one egg at a time while whipping.
  3. Add the yogurt and wine.
  4. Mix in slowly the flour and cocoa powder passing through a sieve.
  5. Divide the mixture into two molds and smooth the surface with a spatula or by hitting it softly on the countertop.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the centre to make sure the cake is ready and bake more if needed.

Tip: if you want to frost and decorate the cake leave it to cool down completely, otherwise you can serve warm with chocolate ganache on top.

Mulled Wine Poached Pears

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot, except the pears, and stir together.
  2. Peel pears with a vegetable peeler. Cut 2 of the pears in small pieces, leave the rest whole.
  3. Put pears in the pot so they are fully covered with liquid.
  4. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 ½ – 2 hours, or until pears are tender and a deep red colour, and the liquid has reduced. Turn the pears over at least once during cooking and cover them with the syrup a few times.
  5. Remove pears and pieces and set aside. Boil liquid for 5-10 more minutes or until thick and syrupy.

Cream Cheese Filling/Frosting

  1. Combine the cheese cream and half of the confectioner’s sugar and beat using a mixer until creamy.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the heavy cream with the rest of the sugar on high speed until smooth and spreadable.
  3. Combine the two by mixing lightly with a spoon and set aside (preferably in the fridge).
  4. Add the poached pears pieces in the blender or food processor and process until paste consistency.
  5. Slowly combine the pears paste and cheese cream frosting by mixing lightly with a spoon.

Cut the cakes into two layers and spread a thick portion of the pear cheese cream filling in between. Use the rest to cover the cake around. Decorate with the whole poached pears and other seasonal fruit.

ENJOY!