The only important thing to remember is that this is easy, quick, very comforting and seems to please absolutely everyone. It’s not hard to ensure you always have what you need in the house to make this. And, for hot days when baked sponge and sauce seems inappropriate, then bear in mind that canned (or bottled) pears and chocolate sauce – with or without vanilla ice cream – make a lovely pudding on their own.
As with any baking, you really do want to have all ingredients at room temperature before you start.
- 830 grams pear halves in juice (2 cans)
- 125 grams plain flour
- 25 grams cocoa powder
- 125 grams caster sugar
- 150 grams soft butter (plus extra for greasing)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF and grease a 22cm / 8½ inch square ovenproof dish with butter.
2. Drain the pears and arrange them on the base of the dish.
3. Put all the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
4. Spread the brown batter over the pears, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
5. Let stand out of the oven for 5 or 10 minutes and then cut into slabs – I cut 2 down and 2 across to make 9 slices – and serve with chocolate sauce.