Chocolate, pear & hazelnut torte
5 medium, Conference, peeled
Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
½ zest(s) of 1
1 individual, seeds scraped
Low Fat Spread
90 g, roughly chopped
Egg, whole, raw
3 large, raw, whites and yolks separated
0% fat natural Greek yogurt
150 g, thick variety
- Cut the bottom off the pears so they can sit flat. Put 40g sugar into a deep medium pan along with the lemon peel, vanilla pod and seeds, then half-fill the pan with freshly boiled water. Let boil then reduce to a gentle simmer, then sit the pears in the liquid and poach for 15-20 minutes, until just tender. Drain and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, grease and line the bottom of a 23cm cake tin. Heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, gas mark 4. Put the hazelnuts onto a small baking tray and roast for 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool, then blitz 80g in a mini food processor until the size of ground almonds.
- Put 80g chocolate and the spread into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). When melted, remove from the heat, stir and let cool. Don’t worry if the mixture splits a little.
- Whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale and thick, then whisk in the chocolate mixture. Now fold in the blitzed hazelnuts.
- Put the egg whites into a large, spotlessly clean bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold into the chocolate and yolks in three additions until just combined, then spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 35 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove and set aside until it reaches room temperature.
- Put the cream and yogurt into a bowl and whip to soft peaks, then dollop over the cake. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds in 10-second bursts. Then chop the remaining hazelnuts. Arrange the pears on top of the cream, drizzle with the chocolate and scatter over the nuts.