Vegan pear and chocolate brownie cake


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I made a banoffee pie recently. Mmmmmmm, it was heavenly! A sweet shortcrust base, filled with bananas which were bathed in a salted caramel sauce, topped with sweetened mascarpone and grated chocolate.

My poor husband couldn’t have any, because he’s vegan. So I had to make him a cake too, it was only fair.

I decided to make an autumnal cake. A rich, fudgey chocolate cake topped with succulent slices of juicy pear. Brownie points (no pun intended) for me and I’ve reminded my husband of just how wonderful I am. He does need reminding from time to time.

For this cake I used a chocolate cake recipe I’ve baked many times before and it’s never let me down yet. I veganised it by replacing the butter with dairy-free margarine and replacing the eggs with flax eggs.

I love autumnal flavours, don’t you? Apples, pears, butternut squash, beetroot, fennel and parsnips are some of my favourites. I forget all about them during the summer while I tuck into salads, then I discover again anew in the autumn. That’s the fun of eating seasonally and it’s so much cheaper too.

The weather and dark nights may darken our moods, but the seasonal crops and my chocolate and pear cake are sure to cheer us up. I decided to go seasonal with this cake and topped it with ripe Comice pears. Pears go so well with chocolate, so I knew this would be a winning combination.




Flax eggs

  • 2 tbsp of flax seeds
  • 6 tbsp of water

Brownie cake

  • 2 Comice pears, ripe
  • 125g of dairy-free margarine
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g of self-raising flour, sieved
  • 50g of cocoa powder, sieved
  • 150ml of strong coffee, made with 2 heaped teaspoons of coffee granules and left to cool
In a food processor or spice grinder, grind the flax seeds to a powder, pour into a small bowl and top with the water. Stir well, then leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to thicken
Preheat oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4 and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper
Place the margarine, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy – I use a stand mixer but you could do this by hand
Beat in the flax eggs along with a spoonful of the flour, this will stop it separating. Gradually add the rest of the flour and cocoa followed by the coffee, then keep mixing for a few minutes until you have a smooth mixture
Pour into the cake tin and level the surface. Peel and cut the pears into 1cm slices, discarding any seeds, then arrange around the top of the cake – you might not need all the slices but it will depend on the size of the pears
Bake for 1 hour, then check the cake with a skewer. If it comes out clean it is ready, if not give it a few more minutes in the oven
Allow the cake to cool slightly in the tin before moving to a wire rack to cool completely
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