• 250 grams dark chocolate
  • 250 grams butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 100 grams soft brown sugar
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 80 grams cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe pears
  • 750ml red wine, such as merlot
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 orange, peel and juice
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise

The spicy and fruity flavours of mulled wine combine with chocolate and pears to make this the perfect winter's day dessert

  1. Chocolate cake: Heat the oven to 160ºC and grease and line a 20cm cake.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a large heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir regularly, remove from heat once completely melted and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugars. Sift in the cocoa powder and salt, add the melted chocolate and butter and mix until well combined.
  4. In a seperate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Take ¼ of the egg whites and gently mix into cake batter. Once well incorporated, fold through remaining egg whites.
  5. Pour into lined cake tin and bake for 40 minutes or until top of the cake is dry to touch.
  6. Mulled Wine Poached Pears: Peel skin off pears, leaving the stalks attached. Place in a large pot along with remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours. If pears aren’t completely submerged in liquid, turn them half way through cooking. Remove pears from liquid and cool slightly before serving alongside Flourless Chocolate Cake.

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