Under those gorgeous slabs of buttery fruit, this chocolatey cardamom-laced afternoon tea cake holds a buried treasure of juicy pear bits. (Word to the wise: Our testers recommend keeping the photo of the cake handy when you're slicing the pears.)

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and grease paper. Set aside.

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  • In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in brown sugar until melted. Cook and stir until mixture begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

  • Peel pears. Cut in half vertically. Remove cores with a melon baller or spoon. Cut a thick slice (3/4-inch) from the cut side of each pear half, taking care to avoid cutting too closely to the core area (so that you don’t have a see-through hole in your slice). Arrange the three prettiest pear slices facedown in the pan, alternating directions. Chop the fourth slice, plus all the trimmings (the pear “cheeks”), and set aside.

  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine remaining 8 tablespoons butter and the chocolate. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, then continue cooking and stirring at 15-second intervals until butter and chocolate are melted. Cool slightly.

  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, cardamom and salt; set aside.

  • Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla into melted butter mixture. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Spread half of the batter over pears in pan. Evenly sprinkle chopped pear over batter, followed by remaining batter.

  • Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on rack 15 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan. Invert onto a serving plate. Remove parchment paper. Serve warm or cool; store in refrigerator.

Tips

Wrap cooled cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

444 calories; 25 g total fat; 94 mg cholesterol; 362 mg sodium. 55 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein;

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