With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13 cm), 6-cup (1.5 litre) bread tin. Line with a strip of parchment paper, letting it hang over two sides.
In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom.
In another bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the egg and whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Add the chocolate and the grated pears and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Place the pear slices down the centre of the cake, rounded side up, pressing them into the batter until covered almost halfway.
Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before unmoulding.
Recipes with the "Healthy Pick" stamp have been evaluated by a registered dietitian member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec.