Saturday, February 22, 2014

Al Di La's Torta di Pere (Chocolate and Pear Cake)

Well you can't have a dream
And cut it to fit
But when I saw you, I knew
We go together, like a wink and a smile
Harry Connick, Jr., A Wink and a Smile
Ah, pears and chocolate - they go together like a wink and a smile.

In a fit of optimism, I had bought a number of William pears from the greengrocers, with full intentions of eating them for lunch, as snacks etc.  Unfortunately, these were good intentions that did not materialise, and I had 3 sad browning pears in the fridge at the end of the week.  I had wanted to make a dark chocolate and pear cake to use them up, but couldn't find quite what I wanted.  However, I did spy a recipe for a bittersweet chocolate and pear cake on the Smitten Kitchen website from Al Di La, which is apparently a famous Italian eatery in Brooklyn, NY (but alas unheard of by me).  

I had a sense of deja vu about this cake the morning after I made it, and sure enough, I had made it back in 2009.  It's funny how different it looks this time - both cakes made by me using the same recipe with rather different results.

Unless you have a strong aversion to chocolate and fruit, you must make this cake.  It is just that good.  The decadent richness of the chocolate complements the moist, juicy pears, all of which are cradled in a tasty yet light cake vehicle.  Amazing:

I think this one would be even better with a small splash of booze on the pears - pear brandy perhaps?  Go ahead and make it - I know you want to.


Kari said...

Does anyone have a strong aversion to chocolate and fruit? I personally have a strong love for both so am definitely convinced of the merits of this cake. I had to smile at your fruit snacks turning into cake though...some things really are better with chocolate ;)

2paw said...

I have an aversion to neither but chocolate has an aversion to me. The pears here are not ready to eat, they are dry and I shall wait till they are juicy. I do agree that they go together very well.
Isn't it strange that the cakes look so different???

Teresa said...

This sounds wonderful and both your versions look good - it's strange how the same recipe can vary so much in result. I remember seeing this cake on Smitten Kitchen, but never got 'round to making it. Seems like an error in judgement.

Chaya said...

I have been checking out your last few recipes and you are making some great dishes. I plan to post this week's WWDH although I am not doing much more than that.

It is fun to relax and just visit and you gave me several good ideas if I can get enthusiastic about cooking. Thanks for the ideas.