Winter Warmer Recipe: Spiced Poached Pear Chocolate Cake

News| 18th May 2023
Winter Warmer Recipe: Spiced Poached Pear Chocolate Cake
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With the weather cooling down, there’s never been a better time to start practicing your winter recipes. We asked dessert queen and ex-MasterChef contestant Therese Lum to share with us her go-to recipe for winter entertaining. It’s simple yet indulgent - the kind of cake we love to bake.

This rich chocolate loaf cake is studded with three, tender, spiced-poached pears. It looks super impressive, as every slice of the cake reveals another spicy pear surprise. However, it’s surprisingly easy to make.


Spiced Poached Pear Chocolate Cake

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 90 mins

Serves: 10


Poached Pears:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 3 medium pears (Bosc or Willian Bartlett)


  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 165ml full cream milk
  • 75g sour cream
  • 113g butter, room temp
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs


 1.    To poach the pears, bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add sugar, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

2.    Meanwhile, peel the pears and add to the poaching liquid. Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring the water back to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the pears simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. Once the pears are good to go, carefully remove them from the pot and set them aside in a bowl to cool.

3.    Now, onto the cake. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease a loaf tin lightly with butter. Line the pan with baking paper and let it overhang on both sides.

4.    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix the milk and sour cream together in another bowl until smooth.

5.    Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the dark brown sugar and continue to mix a few minutes more.

6.    Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until well incorporated. Add in half of the flour mixture and half of the milk mixture. Mix everything together on low speed until well incorporated and looking delicious.

7.    Add in the remaining flour and milk mixtures and continue to mix on low speed until the chocolate batter is just combined.

8.    Start by adding a few spoonfuls of batter to the bottom of the prepared loaf tin. Place the poached pears, bottom side down in the batter. Spoon the remaining chocolate batter around the three pears.

9.    Bake the loaf for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top springs gently back when touched. Take out of the oven and then transfer it to a wire rack. Let the loaf cool for 20 minutes, then remove it from the tin.

10.  Cool the loaf completely before dusting with powdered sugar. Cut into even slices and wow your guests with your tasty yet simple masterpiece.

To make this dessert at home, head to Woolworths at Buranda Village to find all the ingredients and materials you need.

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