Tuesday, February 7

Crazy Cooking Challenge - Chocolate Cake

Solar Upside Down Pear Chocolate Cake
It's time, again, for the Crazy Cooking Challenge and February's challenge is chocolate cake! Now, who wouldn't want to participate in a chocolate cake challenge and discover some great recipes from other bloggers? There were so many to choose from, yet, I kept returning to Stephanie's blog, A Whisk and a Spoon, because of her adaptation of a recipe she found in Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. I love anything rustic that brings a sense of history into a new generation of cooks. So, here's my solar-baked adaptation.

Solar Upside Down Pear Chocolate Cake

You'll find the recipe at Stephanie's blog (see how I get you to visit her! ) and I just have a few things to add. I did use a spring-form pan but, to prevent leakage of the caramel sauce, I lined the bottom with foil and then sprayed with an oil and flour mix.


As you can see, it's just enough foil to contain the sauce, pears, and cake batter. I did the sauce in my microwave and took it out just before it began to turn golden brown because I knew it would continue to cook during baking. I toyed with adding rum to the caramel mix, but decided to stay as close to the recipe, as possible, and will definitely do it another day. The big difference is that I only bought two pears instead of three, as the recipe calls for, and so had to slice them thinner to copy the pattern.


This batter is scrumptuous and rich. I didn't have any dark baking chocolate and used semi-sweet dark chocolate pieces, instead. It's important to time everything so that the VERY HOT caramel sauce doesn't heat your pan so much that it melts the oil and flour coating. I prearranged my pear slices on a paper plate, first, and then placed them in the sauce.


I baked my cake in a preheated solar oven at 275F for approximately 70 minutes. I did the toothpick test and the crust was crispy and inside texture moist and delicious without clinging to the knife; but, I think it would have been fine after just 60 minutes. As you can see, my thinner pear slices became translucent during the cooking, the caramel sauce got darker, and the rich, dark, chocolate almost overwhelmed the pears. Next time, I'll use three pears and make the slices at least 1/4 inch thick. But, it's still very pretty; don't you think?



Photobucket

Here's the other entries. I hope you'll visit and leave some comment love -- I'll take some love, too! Have fun.

36 comments:

  1. Hi Sharlene, long time no chat! I have missed you. Lots going on with me, sigh! Anyway, your pear cake looks amazing and delicious. And who can resist all those other chocolate recipes, thanks for sharing. Hope you have been well. Keep those recipes coming!! Hugs, Robin.

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    1. I tell you! We get busy and the next you know, everyone else is older! Hope you're doing okay, healthwise. You went through quite a period, there. This is your year for fun. That's an order. This is one delicious cake and it was gone almost, right away... and, that's rather strange, because I don't care for chocolate... good thing my sister and friends do... I've missed you, too.

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  2. Your chocolate pear cake is beautiful. What a creative pairing of two winter favorites! Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. It's a great contrast in textures and taste and certainly looks festive enough... Definitely going to make, again (with the rum!) Thanks for coming by.

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  3. That looks just delicious! and I think I would have chosen to do that one too, the others just looks a bit to much for me :-)

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

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    1. Yeah, I think this is one you would definitely like -- and it's very easy to make. I think I'm going to try it with apricots, the next time, too, just to see if I like the added tang. Give the dogs a big hello, for me, and thanks for stopping by.

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    2. I was thinking of peaches :-) I think the fuller taste of peaches and apricots would be great with that cake :-)
      The dogs says hello back to You :-)

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

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  4. Chocolate pear cake, what a delicious sounding recipe. All the other chocolate recipes sound wonderful too. Who can resist chocolate?

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    1. That's what kept bringing me back to this recipe, was the sound of the combination -- very enticing... and, it proved to be everything I thought it would be. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. What a great combination, pears and chocolate! This cake is gorgeous!

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    1. And well worth baking! Thanks for stopping by. This is such a fun Challenge. Who knew there were so many ways of serving chocolate!

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  6. I love the combination of pears, caramel, and chocolate. It looks delicious :)

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    1. I think the type of pear matters, too. Some would be too bland and easily get overwhelmed by the chocolate. A sweet pear would be great. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Pear and chocolate is such a wonderful combination.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Crazy Cooking Challenge entry: Double Chocolate Meyer Lemon Mousse Cake

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Love your recipe, too! Anything with lemon gets my eye. This was quite a challenge and I'm getting to meet so many new cooks! Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. This looks delicious. Love the pears in it. Such an amazing array of taste. I bet it was positively lick the plate good.

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    1. Plate???? Er, ah, I'm not sure there was time! But, definitely, finger-licking! Most got taken to my daughter's for the grandchildren. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. this looks fantastic and a great combination of flavours :)

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    1. Thanks. It is. I hope you try it. Good luck with your cookbook They are harder than people think. I'm just about ready to release Book 2 -- Tired of editing perfectly 'golden' words! Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I just love your combination of the Chocolate and Pears which is one of my all time favorites. This is a great recipe! Thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen
    #7

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    1. Love your entry, too! Hershey's is the bomb! I'm trying to get to everyone -- and, need another month to do it! So many wonderful entries. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. What a pretty cake! It must be "healthy" too, right, with all of that fruit? So fun to see how you make things in the solar oven!

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    1. Thanks, Kristen! Oh, yes, very healthy. I try to put all my fruits and veggies into cakes or cookies to keep in shape; yup. I am fearless when it comes to solar cooking -- hope you'll give it a try, someday. Your food will reach a whole new level. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Solar cooking - I'm intrigued and will research to learn more. With the very little I know about solar ovens I would never have thought you could bake a cake in one! It looks awesome!

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    1. Hope you've had time to do some research on solar cooking, Terry. I cook anything I want in them and love the savings. Can also do Artisan Bread. Convert?! Convert!? Hope so. Come visit when you can.

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  13. I'm intrigued! I don't really like pears so I'd try pineapples! Yum!

    http://steaknpotatoeskindagurl.blogspot.com/2012/02/chocolate-carrot-cake-crazy-cooking.html

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    1. Love your Chocolate Carrot cake! Staying healthy, that's what. Been to your blog, twice. Won't let me comment and see that no one has, either. Doesn't make sense. You might want to check it out to see what's stopping us from saying anything. Love this challenge. So many cakes to visit; so little time! I think pineapple would be great, too!

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  14. Love the combination of chocolate and pears! Great choice for 'The Challenge.' Thanks so much for popping on over to my blog to say hey.
    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground (CCC #13)

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    1. What I love about your Rootbeer Chocolate Cake is that you don't have to drink anything to wash it down! Cool; right?! Thanks for stopping by. This is quite the CCC with lots of wonderful goodies!

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  15. Solar cooking.. how interesting! I love the chocolate and pear combo!

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    1. Yes, it is. You'd better try it out so that your repertoire is well-rounded. LOL. I know you have your hands full, but this is a great time to introduce it into the family -- when the children are young. How on earth do you participate in all those linkys? Come visit when you can.

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  16. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I haven't gotten to your entry, yet. Started at the beginning entries of the CCC, this month -- but, I'll get there! White chocolate isn't my favorite, but my daughter loves it, so I need a recipe. Thanks for stopping by. Come visit whenever you can.

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  17. Love the combination with the pears!
    Patti #28

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    1. Hey, CCC Neighbor! Love the combo in your entry, too! Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. I found lots of interesting information here. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in the subject. Keep it that way
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