Last night I was out with some friends where each of us was tasked with bringing something chocolate (and wine…of course). I wanted to bring something delicious, something gluten free and as always, something easy that Zara can help me with in the kitchen. Here’s a sampling of the chocolate spread;
I felt I needed to title the dish with almost everything I used, resulting in an alarmingly long name, but the cake was good so…that’s all that matters…right? I give you:
Gluten Free Chocolate Pear Cake with Red Wine & Hibiscus Poached Pears
First I decided to make the pears, as this is what actually inspired my chocolate dish. My husband had bought me some delicious red wine for valentine’s day (The Other). We had about 2 glasses left, so I decided to use 1 to cook the pears in and make a syrup. Poaching pears is really easy and delicious. They are a beautiful fruit once cooked and if you know anyone who doesn’t like the texture of a pear, this is a great way to introduce pears to them. These can be served separately, or as part of this cake recipe.
First pour one cup of red wine into a pan. Add 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 hibiscus flower (dried). The flower will rehydrate before you add the pears. Next add 4 tbsp of sugar and stir. Simmer on low while you prepare the pears. Wash and dry 3 large pears. Cut, core and peel the pears. I cut and cored, and Zara peeled using our handy, hand-held peeler. Add the pears to the liquid mixture and cover. Every ten minutes flip the pears over and give the mixture a little stir. Do this 4 times (40 minutes), your pears should be bright red and cooked through. Remove from heat and drain the syrup and reserve for later use. The syrup should be thick and sticky!
To find a gluten free chocolate cake recipe, I googled, “gluten free moist chocolate cake’ (because the last time I attempted to make a gluten free cake I could probably have used it as a weapon it was so hard) which took me to the king arthur site. I never take a recipe at face value (except for my own…of course) so of course, I modified it.
1.5 cups of sugar
1.5 cups of gluten free flour
1 1/4 cup of cocoa (make sure it’s gluten free!)
1 stick of softened butter
2.5 tea baking powder
1 tea salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cups vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups water
1.5 tea vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. I was using little mason jars so that I could have individual servings, which I greased with a little olive oil. Plus they’re SO much easier to have Z help me prepare and fill.
In a bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients. I measured everything out ahead of time and then let Z add it in, same with the wet ingredients. In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Slowly add in dry ingredients (I do about 1/3 at a time) until everything is incorporated. This was a little messier than I anticipated with Z, although a LOT of fun. We beat the mixture by hand, and both of us were stirring with forks, we often hit forks (I lie, we hit forks on purpose and often ‘faced off’ until one of the forks won…serious fun)
At this point your pears should be relatively cool. Slice pears and put 1-2 slices into the bottom of your mason jars. If you are using a cake dish, fan the pears in the bottom of the pan. Pour cake batter into mason jars over pears. Bake for 11 minutes and check that a toothpick comes out clean. Add a little bit of the syrup mixture and top with the rest of the poached pears which I diced. Let cool. Seal the mason jars. That’s it!
I was nervous about this recipe, and I took it UNTESTED to gathering. So I was REALLY nervous. But everyone said they liked it and I loved it. I also had left 2 for the little ones at home and the babysitter, so, overall, I’d say a hit.
Don’t be scared by all the ingredients, this cake is really delicious and if you have a gluten free person in your life, it’s a nice, sort of fancy recipe to share!
Want to know more about gluten free living and be tempted by some delectable gluten free recipes? Look no further than becomeunglud a fantastic resource for all things gluten free.