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Recipe: Chocolate Sponge Cake

Applejack‘s Executive Chef Jason Roberson shares his recipe for a delicious Chocolate Sponge Cake with Spiced Poached Pears

This recipe is perfect to bake for birthdays, anniversaries, to show off during virtual dinner parties or simply if you’re just looking for something to spice up your isolation time! Brush up your baking skills and enjoy an indulgent chocolate sponge cake with spiced poached pears.

Our Applejack Group Exec Chef, Jason Roberson has pulled together his recipe for his delicious chocolate sponge cake with spiced poached pears and salted chocolate cream – YUM! The pear and chocolate is such a perfect combination and works beautifully in a cake. 

The recipe is divided into 3 sections – the spiced poached pears, the sponge cake and lastly the dressing.  

Applejack Chocolate Sponge Cake

Keep reading below for the ingredients and method and tune into our IGTV to see Jason make the cake himself.  

The Ingredients:

For the Spiced Poached Pears:
3 x beurre bosc pears
½ x vanilla bean
1 x whole lemon
1 x star anise
1 x cinnamon quill
300g x castor sugar
1lt x water
1x baking round

For the Sponge Cake:
80g x plain flour
20g x corn flour
40g x cocoa
4 x eggs
50ml x full cream milk
1 x teaspoon vanilla paste
100g x castor sugar
40ml x veg oil
1 x teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For Dressing the Sponge:
200ml x whipping cream
60g x salted dark chocolate

The Method:

For Spiced Poached Pears: 

  • For the stock syrup:
    • Place the water, zest of whole lemon, split vanilla bean, sugar and all spices into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • While the syrup is heating, prepare pears in the following manner:
    • Firstly, peel pears, then cut into quarters and cut the seed out of each quarter with a small knife.
    • Place pears into a bowl of water with the juice of the whole lemon. pear.This will prevent them from discolouring while you wait for the stock to boil.
  • Once syrup is boiling, place all pears into boiling syrup and bring back to a strong simmer
  • Place a baking paper round over the pears and cover with a lid.
  • Cook for 8-9 minutes and then check that the pears are tender. Take lid off the pot and allow the pears to completely cool in the stock syrup.
  • Once cool, place in the refrigerator for later use.
    *note: These pears can be done many days prior to use and will last over a week if cooled and stored properly in the stock syrup. 


For the Sponge Cake:

  • Pre-heat oven on convection without fan to 150c
  • Line a 18cm x 7cm deep spring form cake tin with baking paper using spray oil
  • Separate egg yolks from whites and set whites aside in fridge for later use
  • In a large bowl mix egg yolk, milk, vanilla, 50g of the sugar and 40ml veg oil till combined
  • In a separate bowl sift together both flours and the cocoa. Repeat this twice to aerate
  • Next combine the dry mix to the wet mix and mix thoroughly
  • In an electric mixer, whip the egg whites for 30 seconds. Then add the lemon juice and turn the mixer to high and gradually add the remaining 50g of sugar until the egg whites become stiff and increase in volume.
  • Using a spatula, add ½ the egg white mix to the batter and gently combine.
  • Using an extremely light touch, fold and combine the remaining egg white mix to complete your batter. Note: The key is to keep as much air in the mixture as this will give you the lightest cake possible.
  • Gently pour mixture into the prepared tin and smooth out. Place foil or a protective shield from water around the base of the spring form tin and place the tin into another baking dish
  • Fill with boiling water from the kettle about 1cm up the tin. Note: This will help the cake to stay moist and not burn around the edges
  • Place the cake onto the lowest shelf of the oven & bake for approximately 65-75mins
  • Check the cake at around the 60 minute mark as all ovens are slightly different. Note: You can check the cake is cooked by placing a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it is dry with no mixture when pulled out the cake is done.
  • Next take cake out and let sit for 10 mins, then gently take cake from the tin and allow to cool on a cake rake for dressing later.  


For Dressing the Cake:

  • Place salted chocolate in freezer
  • Whip the 200ml of cream till stiff
  • Cut the sponge through the exact middle horizontally and place the top gently to the side
  • Using a flat cake spatula, place a 0.5 cm evenly deep layer of cream on the top of the bottom layer of sponge.
  • Next cut the very well drained pears into 1 cm dice & layer evenly over the cream. Place another 0.5 cm layer of cream over the pears.
  • Place the lid of the sponge onto the bottom of the cake and gently push down.
  • Next using a flat small spatula, smooth cream onto the outside of the cake and into all the gaps from the two layers. The look you are going for is the rustic exposed brick look where you can see some of the chocolate sponge through the cream.
  • Put a 0.5 cm layer of cream onto the top of the cake and make sure its slightly ruffed up..
  • Finely grate the salted chocolate generously over the cream using a micro plainer or a fine grater.
  • Finally place the cake in the fridge for 1 hour to set the cream and then simply cut and serve with any left-over whipped cream.
    The cake will have a lovely layer of pear and cream and last for two days if refrigerated  

Serves 8 generous portions  

If you have a go at baking this cake, make sure you take a pic and share it with us on instagram (@applejack_hospitality). We can’t wait to see your amazing creations! Enjoy!