Upside Down Pear Chocolate Cake
from Rustic Fruit Desserts
1 tbsp butter or margarine for the pan
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup flour
1/3 cup Dutched cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk or soy milk
Generously butter a nine inch cake pan. Set aside.
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir to make sure all the sugar is moistened. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Cook until the sugar mixture becomes a light amber color. Take care to wash down the sides of the pan either with or water and a pastry brush or by covering the pan with its lid. Once the caramel is ready, pour it carefully into the greased cake pan. Allow the caramel to harden slightly. Carefully arrange the pear slices over the caramel. Preheat the oven to 350 while you make the cake batter.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan. Sift together the dry ingredients. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a mixer. Add the sugar and beat on medium for three minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk beginning and ending with the flour. Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake for 40-45 minutes, taking care not to overbake. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then invert the pan onto a plate. Leave the pan on for five minutes more before unmolding it. Serve warm. Vanilla ice cream would be lovely.