Looking for a beautiful dinner party dessert that is super simple and easy to make? Try our spiced red wine skillet cake with poached pears. With hints of fall spices, this not too sweet yet decadent fruity dessert is the perfect centrepiece for your dessert table. Spiced redwine is used to poach the pears and then is added to the cake mix to create a rich and moist cake with a mysterious extra depth.
We love making this dessert in a cast iron pan as the presentation is so gorgeous but any standard sized cake tin will do. Skillet desserts are great for dinner parties as it means less pans and serving platters to wash afterwards. We simply adore the understated rustic elegance of skillet cakes. In the next couple of weeks, we will be posting several skillet dessert recipes, so stay tuned.
Spiced Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Poached Pears
For the Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears:
- 4 cups dry red wine
- 8 Bosc pears
- 1/c cup honey
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Heat oven to 180 c
Peel and core pears, leaving stems intact and cutting off bottoms so they can stand. Place redwine, honey, spices, vanilla extract and salt in pot and bring to a light boil. Add pears and poach until just soft, approximately 30 minutes. Removed pears and set aside. Strain poaching liquid to removed spices and reserve.
Prepare Secret Kiwi Kitchen's chocolate cake mix as directed on instructions but make sure to substitute reserved red wine in place of liquids. If using Secret Kiwi Kitchen’s 850g cake package, 1/2 the recipe. Weigh out 425 grams of the mix, add 1 egg, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, add in 1 cup strained red wine poaching liquid. Add the rest of the poaching liquid back into the pot and simmer until a thick honey like sauce forms, careful not to burn. Set aside until cake is ready to serve and drizzle over the top.
Grease with oil or butter a cast iron skillet* and add cake batter and spread evenly. Place pears standing up around the pan. Bake for 35 minutes in heated oven or until a knife or toothpick inserted into cake comes out mainly clean.
Serve with reserved reduced redwine honey sauce drizzled over the top and powdered sugar. This cake is delicious paired (no pun indented) with ice cream or heavy cream.
Handmade in New Zealand with 100 recycled iron this medium sized pan (280mm Diameter) is the perfect size for this recipe.