When you have a sweet tooth and eat mostly everything, thinking up a dessert that’s both dairy-free and gluten-free is — hard. All my defaults go out the window. The easiest solution is no dessert for anyone, but I happen to like dessert. Since my mum doesn’t eat gluten and my partner doesn’t eat dairy, I keep my eye out for dessert recipes that I could feed to both of them at once, and earlier this summer, I found a gold mine. This blog out of Australia is jam packed with recipes both gluten- and dairy-free, and I want to eat them all. The first one up: dark chocolate, pear and rosemary cake.
If the name alone didn’t sell you, let me tell you about this cake. This cake is flecked with chunks of pear and dark chocolate, infused with minced rosemary, and enriched with grated pear. It’s topped with a ganache made from dark chocolate and coconut milk, and it’s garnished with rosemary leaves. And I loved it.
Notes: You don’t need to make this cake gluten-free; all-purpose flour subs in just fine. Tempted to put flax seeds in whole instead of grinding them or omitting them because you don’t keep ground flax seed in your pantry? I was, too. The cake tasted just fine, but you definitely noticed the tiny seeds in an otherwise melt-in-your-mouth cake. Next time, I’ll just omit. And while the rosemary garnish looks very pretty for a day, it’s a bit of an aesthetic gamble after that; decorate accordingly.
Dark Chocolate, Pear and Rosemary Cake
slightly adapted from My Darling Lemon Thyme
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or 3/4 cup fine brown rice flour and 3/4 cup potato flour)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)
1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tbsp minced rosemary leaves
pinch of salt
3 large Bosc pears, peeled
1/1 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/4-1/3 cup coconut milk
rosemary leaves for garnish (optional)
1. Grease a round 23cm cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and set aside.
2. Make the cake: In a large bowl, sift together the flour(s), cocoa, and baking soda. Add sugar, flax seeds, chocolate, rosemary and salt, stirring to combine.
3. Finely chop one of the pears; fold it into the dry ingredients until all pieces are well coated. Set aside.
4. Grate the remaining two pears, and scrape them into a medium bowl. Add the eggs, coconut oil and vanilla; whisk until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; stir until just combined.
5. Bake the cake: Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 50-65 minutes at 350 degrees. It’s done when a skewer pressed through the centre of the cake comes out clean and crumb-less. Cool completely on a wire rack.
6. Make the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate and coconut milk together in a double boiler over gently simmering water. Stir until smooth.
7. Ice the cake: Spread the warm ganache over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves for garnish.