75 g (3 oz) butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
2 x 415 g (13¼ oz) cans pear halves in juice, drained
100 ml (3½ fl oz) milk
1 large egg
125 g (4 oz) self-raising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
125 g (4 oz) caster sugar
75 ml (3 fl oz) boiling water
rich vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)
Lightly grease a large ovenproof dish and arrange the pear halves in the bottom.
Put the butter, milk and egg in a large bowl and beat together. Sift in the flour and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder, add 75 g (3 oz) of the caster sugar and beat until smooth.
Pour the batter over the pears and smooth with the back of a spatula.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining caster sugar and cocoa powder with the boiling water and stir until smooth. Pour this mixture over the batter and bake in a preheated oven, 200˚C (400˚F), Gas Mark 6, for about 20 minutes, or until risen and firm to the touch. Set aside to rest for 1–2 minutes before serving with scoops of vanilla ice cream, if desired.