Pear upside-down cake
One thing I love about social media is its ability to bring people together who share similar passions. I met Jess of @jess_mycleantreats on Instagram and after scrolling through her feed of healthy desserts I was dying to try them for myself.
Jess doesn't follow any particular diet, she just loves food and prefers to make healthier choices. She particularly loves desserts, so much so that she says "I may have spent the previous year heaping 3 teaspoons of Nutella into my mouth every night before I went to sleep (and also heaping on 3 kilos while I was at it)." So she decided to start experimenting with creating her own healthier treats using natural ingredients. She shares her creations on her blog, My Clean Treats, and says "if you pair these treats with a healthy lifestyle of fresh meals and regular exercise, I’d say you’re on the right track." Agree!
I tried out Jess's Pear & Date Upside-Down Cake and it was delicious. Her original recipe included chopped dates, which would be really tasty but I left them out to make a Pear Upside-Down Cake (because I can't eat a lot of dates). I also used brown rice flour instead of wholewheat or spelt to keep the cake gluten-free and it worked out nicely! The recipe for my adapted version is below and you can check out Jess's original recipe here. I loved the mixture of pear and cinnamon.
6 x 20ml tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
3 large free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp (gluten-free) baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Extra cinnamon powder for dusting
1. Peel and core the pears and cut them into halves. Poach the pear halves in simmering water for about 30-40 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool.
2. While the pears are poaching, preheat your oven to 170°C (fan-forced) and line the base and sides of a 20cm circular cake tin with baking paper.*
3. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil over the base of the tin, then arrange the pear halves cut-side down to cover the base.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, rice malt syrup and vanilla together until creamy. Add one egg at a time to the mixture, beating until well combined.
5. Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder over the liquid mixture, then gently fold everything together. Add the almond milk and beat lightly to combine.
6. Pour the mixture over the pears, then bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour - 1 hour 20 minutes (mine took 1 hour). Allow to cool. To serve, flip onto a plate and dust over some extra cinnamon. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
* I used a springform cake tin, which meant that the coconut oil dripped through the tiny gaps in the base while in the oven causing a bit of a mess. So I ended up wrapping the tin in two layers of foil to stop the dripping. I'd recommend doing this from the start or using a normal cake tin (without a removable base).