Happy Monday! Today I want to share with you truly one of my favorite cakes ever: a chocolate bundt cake filled with pears poached in a mix of spices for a warming winter twist! When I was done cooking the pears I felt bad discarding the liquid full of spices so I thought why not letting it cook further until, perhaps, it reduces to a syrup? And it worked! It actually turned into a rich caramel. I smothered it all over the cake for a nice extra touch.
I like making bundt cakes because I find they cook more evenly, the only down side is that – unless you make them up “upside down” – it will be impossible to remove them from the pan without destroying them.
I stored mine on the counter for a few days and it kept really well, although it didn’t last long in my home as I shared it with family!
CHOCOLATE AND POACHED PEAR BUNDT CAKE + SPICED CARAMEL // vegan
by Marta’s Plants
yields one 26cm/10in cake
prep time: 15 mins; cook time: 1 hr 10 mins; total time: 1 hr 25 min
4 pears, medium firm
3 tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
cinnamon powder or 1 stick
3 star aniseeds
handful fennel seeds
5 cardamom pods
3-4 cups / 1 lt water
- Wash and peel the pears keeping the stem on. Slightly cut off the bottom so they can sit upright. Grind fennel and cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle.
- Add water (start with 3 cups), sweetener and spices to a pot and bring to a boil, stir and then add pears. They should be fully covered by water.
- Let cook until just soft but still firm enough (you don’t want them to get mushy as they’ll cook further in the oven), about 15-35 mins depending on ripeness. I checked with a fork after 15 minutes and removed 2, letting the other 2 cook longer. Let cool.
- Filter liquid, take out 1 cup which you will need for the cake batter, and put the rest back on the stovetop over a medium-low flame, uncovered. Let cook for about 1-1.5 hours until it reduces to a syrup, while you prepare the cake. Check and stir every few minutes.
2 cups /350 gr flour of choice
2/3 cup / 60 gr cacao powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup / 65 gr coconut oil, melted
1 pear, soft
1 cup pear cooking liquid + more
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.
- In a large bowl sift and mix the dry ingredients; in another bowl mix oil and maple syrup.
- Wash, peel and chop the pear and blend it with 1 cup of cooking liquid. Add more liquid (you can take it from the pot while it’s slowly reducing) depending on the pear size and ripeness, considering that you need a total of 2 cups of liquid for the cake batter.
- Combine the wet ingredients, then add to the dry ones. Stir well until you have a smooth batter (it will be quite liquid).
- Line the bottom of the bundt pan with parchment paper (optional) and/or lightly grease the bottom and sides with coconut oil. Roll the 4 cooked pears in flour, to help the batter stick to them, then place them in the cake pan.
- Pour batter in between and around the pears, evenly.
- Bake for about 35 minutes. It will be ready when a toothpick or knife inserted in the center will come out clean.
- When ready, leave out to cool completely on a wire rack.
- At this point, the caramel may be ready, if not, let it reduce a bit longer while the cake cools down.