Caramelised Pear and Honey Carob Cake (Gluten-Free)
Caramelised pears grace the top of this melt-in-the-mouth pudding type cake. This pear and honey carob cake is not only delicious, but relatively healthy too. It’s made with carob and buckwheat flour, so it’s gluten-free and honey rather than refined sugar.
When I was living at home as a teenager, my mother and I used to go through sporadic health kicks. During one of these we didn’t eat or drink any chocolate for a few months. It was carob powder that came to our rescue. We used it to replace cocoa, both in drinks and in baking. It was an acquired taste but really rather nice once I got used to it. Whilst the only comparison to cocoa is its form and colour, it has a pleasant flavour which is not at all bitter. When I saw some carob in a health food shop recently, I had a yen to make a carob cake again and remind myself of its qualities.
Random Recipes is a monthly cooking challenge devised by Dashing Dom of Belleau Kitchen, whereby you get to cook a recipe from your cookbooks that has been chosen randomly. I’ve been in from the beginning and this is my favourite blogging challenge, excluding We Should Cocoa of course. I look forward to it with some trepidation each month though. For you just never know what you are going to get.
Dom has decided to go on a health kick this month. So for Random Recipes we are tasked with picking a “happy and healthy” recipe. I immediately thought of my new book, Love Bake Nourish by Amber Rose. I’ve posted a review, but suffice it to say I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Although there are only a few chocolate recipes in it, I asked CT to pick any page number in the belief I could always add chocolate if it wasn’t already present in the recipe.
Page number 46 gave me Caramelised Pear and Buckwheat Pudding Cake. This couldn’t have been more fortuitous. It just so happened that I’d been sent a surprise tray of South African apples and pears from Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit. So I was really pleased to have landed on this one and the recipe sounded delicious. However, the more I scrutinised it, the more I thought it just didn’t lend itself to chocolate. As I was about to ask CT to pick another number, I had a brain wave; carob might work. This was a “free from” cake, having neither wheat nor sugar, so why not make a “free from chocolate” cake too?
Caramelised Pear and Honey Carob Cake
First off you need to caramelise the pears. Do this in a little butter and honey. The original recipe called for maple syrup, but I didn’t have any of that. So I used a mixture of honey and my homemade dandelion honey instead. If you have cardamom pods, you’ll need to grind the seeds into a powder. Cardamom is optional, but it works really well and I highly recommend it.
You then make the cake batter in the usual way, scrape it into a tin and place the caramelised pears on top.
I was really pleased with the appearance of this cake. The batter rose up above the pears which gives an appealing sunken look to the fruit. The crumb is close textured, but not in the least bit heavy and it has a melt in the mouth quality which is just delightful. I was right, carob, caramel and pear make for an excellent combination. What a delight to get reacquainted with carob after all this time. Now I’m left wondering why its been so many years since I’ve used it.
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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this caramelised pear and honey carob cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like to see some more gluten-free recipes, I have quite a few of them.
Pear Honey Carob Cake. PIN IT.
Caramelised Pear and Honey Carob Cake – The Recipe
Caramelised Pear and Honey Carob Cake
- 2 cardamom pods (optional)
- 2 firm Williams pears
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp honey (I used my homemade dandelion honey)
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 125 g firm honey (I used thyme honey)
- 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 75 g buckwheat flour
- 50 g carob powder
- 75 g ground almonds
- Grind the seeds from the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar to form a powder.
- Peel, quarter and core the pears.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan with the honey on a medium to low heat.
- Add the cardamom powder and stir to distribute.
- Add the pears and leave for about 5 minutes to brown a little. Turn them over and repeat the process for the other side. Leave to cool.
- Whip the butter and honey until light and creamy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Sift in the buckwheat flour and carob powder and fold in together with the ground almonds.
- Spoon the batter into a 22 cm round silicone cake mould or lined tin.
- Place the pear quarters in a fan shape on top of the cake and scrape any remaining caramel over the tops.
- Bake at 170℃ (325℉, Gas 3) for 40 minutes or until the cake is risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out more or less clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for twenty minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust the top with icing sugar.
I’m also submitting this gluten-free caramelised pear and honey carob cake to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays. For this even, you have to make everything from scratch.