A sweet bread made with fresh pears and dark chocolate chunks
Our parents back yard is quite large, especially considering that they live in the city. When they first bought their home they had a typically sized outdoor space. Beyond the back fence there were woods and then train tracks. It was unused land and our Baba saw more than overgrown bush, rocks and weeds; he saw an opportunity. He contacted the city and convinced them to sell him the land from the end of his property line all the way to a few feet from the railway tracks. When the city agreed, and quoted him an incredibly reasonable price, he informed the neighbours and they put in the request as well. Our father quickly became a much appreciated new man on the block.
His good deeds don’t end there. Faced with lots of land, people who had never thought to have a garden were suddenly planting tomatoes and cucumbers. Our father was there to offer advice, help till the soil, revive plants that had either been neglected or those which were over-enthusiastically watered. Neighbours who didn’t have gardens had no need to worry; when the garden bounty was plentiful, everyone got a piece. A few eggplants for the older lady that was recently widowed. Some tomatoes for the single guy working two jobs while going to school. Zucchini for the young girl across the street who like to eat them raw, like cucumbers. And pears for everyone.
Our parents planted their pear trees many years ago. We’re not sure how long pear trees typically live, but their two trees have been around for a long while and show no signs of age. Every year they bear more pears than our parents can handle, and when August and September roll around, every visit to, and from, our parents includes a bagful of pears. So many pears that they purposefully drop some onto the ground for the squirrels and the birds (note: both the squirrels and the birds have no problem getting the pears while they are still in the tree, but our parents like to make it easier for them).
A few weeks ago we found ourselves with plenty of pears and decided to make a pear and chocolate bread. Like the popular banana bread, this recipe is more a pear cake than bread but no matter what you call it, we think you’ll agree that it is delicious. Moist, simple and a great way to celebrate a favourite fall fruit and our parents’ generosity.
What kind of pears are best to use in this pear and chocolate bread?
We have made this recipe with the Bartlett pears that grow in our parents’ trees but we have also made the recipe with Anjou pears. We suspect that any pear will do just fine in this recipe; regardless of the pear variety, be sure to peel it and remove the seeds and core. You can learn about the different pear varieties here.
Pear and chocolate bread variations
- Use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate chunks
- Replace the chocolate with finely chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or pecans would work well)
- Make it vegan! Replace the eggs with 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds and 7 and 1/2 tablespoons of water.
Can I half the recipe for the pear and chocolate bread?
Yes! This recipe makes 2 loafs and we love making a large quantity of this bread because it freezes really well and also makes for a great offering to a friend (or neighbour!). However, if you would like to half the recipe simply half all of ingredients and use 2 large eggs instead of 3.
Looking for more great cake recipes like our pear and chocolate bread? Check these out:
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Pear and chocolate bread
- 2 loaf pans
- 1 Stand mixer with paddle attachment
- 2 sheets parchment paper
- 3 eggs, large room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups chopped pears, peeled (about 6 pears)
- 200 grams dark chocolate chunks
- cooking spray for loaf pans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your loaf pans by lining them with parchment paper and spraying them lightly with cooking spray.cooking spray for loaf pans
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the eggs and sugar. Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes.3 eggs, large, 1½ cups sugar
- In a small bowl combine all of your dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined.3 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt
- With the mixer speed on low, add the oil and vanilla extract and beat for an additional 2 - 3 minutes.½ tsp vanilla extract, ¾ cup vegetable oil
- Add the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and with the mixer speed on low mix until just combined (until you no longer see the dry ingredients). Next add in the pears and the chocolate chunks and mix until combined (you can also use a rubber spatula at this point to combine all ingredients). Your batter will be thick.4 cups chopped pears, peeled, 200 grams dark chocolate chunks
- Divide the batter evenly between your two loaf pans and tap the pans on your counter to remove any air pockets in the batter. Bake in middle rack of your oven for 55 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.