Spiced Pear and Chocolate Devils Food Cakes (Gluten Free)

. June, 2017
Spiced Pear and Chocolate Devils Food Cakes (Gluten Free)

A simple stir together recipe with a touch of spice and little nuggets of fresh pear folded through the batter. The fruit chips make a stunning garnish and are equally delicious eaten as a snack or served on a cheese board. 


Spiced Pear and Chocolate Devils Food Cakes
¾ cup milk
⅓ cup good quality cocoa (I used Valrhona)
½ cup buttermilk or plain yoghurt
½ cup rice bran oil
1 large egg, size 7
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
finely grated zest 1 orange
100 grams ground almonds
100 grams brown rice flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg
2 small firm but ripe pears, I use beaure bosc 

Chocolate Ganache
200ml cream
200 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped (68% cocoa)

Oven Dried Pear and Persimmon Chips
1 large firm but ripe pear, I used beaure bosc
1 persimmon
juice 1 lemon


Grease 10, ½ cup capacity cake tins and place on a baking tray

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.

Whisk the milk and cocoa together in a small saucepan over a medium heat until smooth. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly then tip into a large bowl and set aside to cool.

When cool, whisk in the buttermilk or yoghurt, oil, egg, vanilla and zest.

Add the combined ground almonds, rice flour, sugar, baking soda and the spices and stir until well mixed. Peel, quarter and core the pears. Cut into small pieces and fold into the batter. 

Spoon the mixture evenly into the tins. 

Bake for 25–30 minutes until risen and lightly firm when pressed with your finger. 

Cool for 15 minutes then remove from the tins and place on a cooling rack. 

To serve: Pipe or spoon on the ganache then decorate with the pear and persimmon chips if making or toasted sliced almonds make a lovely garnish. Makes 10.

Chocolate Ganache

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just below boiling point.

Take off the heat and add the chocolate. Leave for 1 minute then whisk until smooth. Set aside until cool and it has thickened enough to pipe or spread over the cakes. 

Oven Dried Pear and Persimmon Chips

Leave the skin on when making the chips so you get some lovely curled edges. You can also sprinkle the slices with a little cinnamon sugar before baking for another variation.

Line 1–2 large flat baking trays with baking paper

Preheat the oven to 100°C fan bake

Using a mandoline, very thinly slice the pear and persimmon about 3mm thick.  

Place the slices so they are just touching, on the baking tray as they will reduce by half during cooking. You may have to use two trays depending on their size. Brush both sides with lemon juice and if using cinnamon sugar add that now. Bake for about 3–4 hours, turning the slices over halfway through cooking.

Cooking time will depend on how fast the moisture evaporates from the flesh. Cool then store in an airtight container for 2–3 days.