Special equipment: 9- or 10-inch springform pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9- or 10-inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add the melted chocolate and beat on a low speed until combined. Still on low speed, add the sifted flour mixture and beat for 1 minute, or until just combined.
Wash and dry the pears and cut in half, starting from the top of the pear down.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Insert the pears into the batter. (You may need to adjust the pears throughout the baking time to make sure they remain standing.) Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake. When a tester is inserted into the center of the cake, it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached.