Pear and chocolate sponge is a delicious gateau which you could serve either as a dessert or for a special afternoon tea.
Pear and Chocolate Sponge
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 1/3 cups self-rising flour
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 tablespoon boiling water, or as needed
1 dash vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6 canned pear halves
7 walnut halves
1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and line two 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
2 In a large bowl, cream together 3/4 cup butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Sift the flour into the bowl, and fold it in with a spoon. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared pans.
3 Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the center of the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
4 To make the frosting, mix together the confectioners’ sugar and 1 cup butter until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Mix the cocoa powder with just enough boiling water to dissolve, and blend it into the sugar mixture along with the vanilla.
5 To assemble: Split each cake layer into halves horizontally and lay the halves out side by side. Use half of the buttercream, and spread it over 3 of the layers. Sandwich them together with the unfrosted one on the top. Place the cake on a serving plate, and frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Press chopped nuts onto the sides of the cake. Arrange pear halves on the top, and decorate with swirls of buttercream and walnut halves.