Raspberries seldom last long in our house or, to rephrase, my daughter eats punnets of raspberries in one sitting so I don’t often get the chance to eat them, let alone bake with them. So when I saw the small punnet in the greengrocer’s, as expensive as they were, I knew I had to have the first, fresh raspberries of the season all to myself. Not the whole loaf, just the chance to do something with the entire punnet. But they were tempting to eat all by themselves – pretty, sweet raspberries with no juice leakage or mouldy specimens tucked in the bottom of the pack. I do admit to popping one or two into my mouth. Just a taste test you see?
The flavour combination of this loaf works well - cool pieces of pear, warm dark chocolate and buds of sweet raspberries. I had my first taste not long after the cake was removed from the oven. The chocolate was warm and delivered far more flavour as it melted around my taste buds. So it’s best served warm, but it still tastes good when cool.
Bill thought there was an overbalance of chocolate. I have to say this had not crossed my mind but I am a chocolate lover so why would it?
Although I’ve called it a “loaf”, I actually poured the mix into small round tins that were once inhabited by 450g smoked fish. I’m sorry to bring up the subject of smoked fish whilst we’re talking about sweet things but let me assure you the tins were washed well. I greased and lined them with baking paper for ease of exit. I find the tins good to use as individual cake gifts but this time, mine never left the house.
I’ve given the recipe and instructions for a loaf. If you want to use smaller tins, or make muffins adjust the baking time accordingly.
I’m submitting this for Sweet New Zealand hosted this month by Mairi at Toast. Sweet New Zealand was started by Alessandra Zecchini and you can read more about it here.
raspberry, pear and chocolate loaf
200g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
4 large eggs
1¾ cup standard (plain) flour
1½ tsp baking powder
200g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
3 pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 small punnet raspberries, de-hulled.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 19x9x7cm loaf pan and line with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mix and stir until well combined.
Stir in the chocolate, and gently fold in the pears and raspberries.
Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour or until golden brown on top and cooked through. Leave for 10 minutes in the loaf pan, and then place on a wire rack to cool.
Tip: Don’t peel and core pears too far in advance as they’ll go brown.