This Gluten Free Chocolate and Pear Cake is one of the naturally gluten free bakes as there are no gluten containing ingredients in it. I’m slowly going through all my old recipes remaking and re shooting them. I have to say it’s turning out to be far more fun than I’d expected.
Firstly because I love the fact that I can go back and make recipes from my own website, that may seem a bit odd but I always have a little giggle to myself when I log on to make my own recipes, it’s a bit surreal to me even now after nearly all these years of blogging. Secondly I’m REALLY loving replacing the photo’s and seeing how far I’ve come.
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What are the best pears to use for this gluten free chocolate and pear cake?
Here in the UK the main pears you will see in the supermarkets or market stalls in town tend to be the Bartlett (Williams), the Comice and the Conference pears. These are also the most versatile of the pear family so no surprise as to why they are the most common. The most recognisable of the pears must be the Conference Pear with its long, elegant form and russet brown and green appearance (by russet I mean a matt brown, rough surface almost like a rough suede). The Bartlett or Williams pear is the smaller dumpy pear, often sold a kids or fun size pears and the Comice is similar to the Williams but larger, plumper and a more appealing skin so better for using to decorate bakes.
So Comice are great for baking and decoration, Conference are perfect for a bake if you want to have recognisable chunks of pear and Bartlett are great to puree, stew and use in baking if you want the pear chunks to break down a little and be less prominent in your bakes.
For this recipe I tend to go for dumpy little Comice Pears so they fit neatly into the cake tin.
Can I make this Chocolate & Pear Cake Dairy Free?
Yes you can, it’s quite simple you just swap out the butter for a dairy free alternative. I’m finding that the new vegan Flora block is proving to be very effective at dairy free baking at the moment and is secretly my favourite dairy alternative to butter (not an ad, just the honest truth).
Can I make this Pear Cake vegan?
If you wanted to make this egg free too you’re going to struggle as this is a three egg bake, and in my experience you can only really get away with a flax egg alternative for two eggs worth. By all means prove me wrong, below is my guide to a flax egg if you want to give it a go.
If getting creative in the kitchen isn’t your style and you’d rather a trialled and tested version, then this is the bake for you Delicious Pear, Chocolate & Almond Torte – gluten free and vegan. As you can see by the photo beneath, my skills just keep improving in that department (thank goodness).
How to make a flax egg
to make 1 flax egg you need the following ingredients:
– 1tbsp ground flax seed
– 3tbsp water
– 1tsp psyllium husk (optional but does add elasticity to baking)
Simply add all ingredients to a glass and stir before measuring out the other recipe ingredients, by the time you come to use your ‘egg’ mixture it will have thickened to a frog-spawn consistency (thicker if you added psyllium husk)
Then just add to your baking as you would an egg. For 2 eggs double the ingredients but note that recipes that require more than two eggs may fail due to lack of support in the structure.
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Can I add whisky to this cake?
You may wonder if you can add malt whisky to a bake if you are Coeliac or following a gluten free diet. It’s a good question, and one I see a lot so here’s a bit of information from Coeliac UK to help you understand what is and isn’t safe.
Are Spirits Gluten Free?
Cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs are gluten free.
Experts agree that there is no physical way that pure distilled alcohol can contain gluten – this is because the gluten protein cannot travel through to the vapour produced by the prolonged heating in the distillation process and become part of the final alcohol product.
Distilled spirits only contain gluten if gluten containing ingredients are added after the distillation process and in this case, there is labelling legislation that ensures the product states CONTAINS wheat, barley, rye or oats on the label.
Source – Coeliac UK FAQ page for more answers to top gluten free questions follow the link Coeliac UK FAQ’s
Please note: some people are also intolerant to certain grains such as barley, rye and oats so even with the gluten removed this can cause digestive issues. If concerned please consult your doctor.
Does this Chocolate and Pear Cake keep well?
I would say this this type of bake needs to be baked and consumed within 24-48hrs. The Pear can continue to weep into the cake and this makes for a sweaty disaster. That said, you will be able to keep this in the fridge for longer and you can simply reheat it and serve with custard for a dessert if you have guest coming and want to prepare something in advance.
I haven’t tried to freeze this recipe yet but I’m positive it will freeze just fine after being cut into portions. To bring the bake back to life you will need to defrost at room temperature for over 3hrs, and I would recommend popping it in a hot oven for 5mins to revive the sponge back to its perfect moist/crumble state. The alternative would be to microwave and serve with custard as a pudding…hmm, think I’ll try that next actually.
Other delicious harvest time fruit bakes
Gluten Free Chocolate and Pear Cake Recipe
If you make it and like the recipe I would be eternally grateful if you popped back and commented leaving a star rating as this will tell search engines that this recipe is worth checking out and others will get to find it in searches.
Gluten Free Chocolate and Pear Cake
- 85 g butter or dairy free alternative, I use Flora plant butter
- 85 g caster sugar
- 85 g dark chocolate
- 1 tsp whisky brandy or rum are also delicious
- 3 egg(s) separated
- 85 g hazelnuts almonds work equally well
- 3 ripe pears peeled, halved and cored
- Toast the nuts under a grill until just starting to brown – keep an eye on them, they burn really quickly.
- Blitz the nuts in a food processor until they are finely chopped.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering hot water or melt in microwave.
- Add the whisky to the chocolate, fold to combine and leave to cool.
- Whisk the sugar and egg yolks until thick and a pale creamy colour.
- Fold the chopped roasted hazelnuts and chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar.
- In a separate clean large bowl whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, add one dessert spoon of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. This breaks up the thick chocolate mixture making it easier to work with.
- Add the remaining egg whites and fold in.
- Add to a loose bottomed 20cm cake tin that has been greased and lined with baking paper.
- Arrange the pears in a circle round-side up.
- Bake at 180°C | 160°C fan | 350°F | Gas 5 for 45mins. The cake is cooked when an inserted wooden cocktail stick comes out clean.
- Once cooked leave to cool for 5mins before taking out of tin.
- Serve warm on it's own or with cream or custard or cool completely and have like a piece of cake.
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