This is a deliciously spiced soft loaf with a firm outside and filled with diced pear to add natural sweetness. I've used a combination of almond meal and cassava flour to create a lovely texture to my Pear and Cinnamon Cake that holds together well. No one will know it is wheat and gluten-free. It's an easy cake to prepare that I've just mixed by hand.
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Preheat oven to 170c (fan-forced). Line the base and sides of a 21 x 11cm loaf tin with baking paper.
Add the almond meal, cassava, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Mix well to combine and remove any lumps.
Add the coconut yoghurt, eggs, honey and vanilla to a medium bowl and whisk together well.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine.
Add the diced pear into the bowl and stir it through the mixture making sure it's distributed evenly.
Spoon into the prepared tin and spread the mixture out evenly throughout the tin.
Bake for approximately 60 minutes or until crisp and golden brown on top and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then remove and finish cooling to your liking on a wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature (it's best to use a serrated knife to slice your loaf into thick slices).
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and is also known as almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. Almond meal/flour is rich in manganese which helps the body heal after injuries and also helps the body break down carbohydrates. Almond flour is also rich in magnesium, which can help control your blood sugar levels. It's rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Almonds are also a good source of calcium.
All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut meals/flours are best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.
Cassava flour has been a staple food around the world for centuries. It's native to South America and is presently grown as an annual crop in tropical regions. Cassava is a vegetable and the whole tubular root is peeled, dried and ground down to create a flour (it's not the heavily processed tapioca flour/starch which is only the extracted starch). Cassava flour has a mild flavour, is off-white/cream in colour and is slightly lighter than regular wheat flour but is more absorbent. One cup of all-purpose flour = 2/3 - 3/4 cup of cassava flour, start with less and see how your recipe adapts. I find it's a little like coconut flour in the way that it soaks up liquid and needs an extra egg for binding (all my recipes have been triple-tested). It has the ability to brown and produce a crust when used in baked goods, which often doesn't occur when using gluten-free flours. This paleo flour is free from grains, gluten, soy, nuts, additives and fillers. It's a perfect flour for those doing an autoimmune protocol diet, for nut-free baking, anyone with food allergies or intolerances. Cassava flour is high in potassium and vitamin C, it also contains calcium, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, iron, plus resistant starch, which can improve gut health. The shelf-life of cassava flour is typically much longer than other flours. It can be kept for up to two years and possibly longer if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. Purchase from health food stores or online.
Check out DISCOUNT details: You can purchase online direct from an Australian producer, "Three Spades" (threespades.com.au). Three Spades have been very generous to the JOYful Table followers and have given us a 15% discount on their cassava flour. Use the code JOYFUL15 when purchasing 2 x 2kg bags (4kg or more), add the code when going through the checkout process. Another good brand is Otto's that can be purchased online from iherb.com
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
Allspice is a dried fruit and gets its name from its flavour, which seems to be a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The fruit is picked when green and ripped in the sun, when dried they are brown and look similar to a peppercorn, it is then ground for use in cooking.
Also known as Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate and is used as a rising agent in baking, it contains no gluten or grains. I use Bob's Red Mill baking soda as I find it rises better than other brands I've tried.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
You will be able to find a recipe for cultured coconut yoghurt online using grass fed gelatin or tapioca starch for thickening. If purchasing a commercial yoghurt, read labels as many use vegetable gums and additives. Coconut yoghurt can be made in a yoghurt maker or a Thermomix machine. If you can tolerate some dairy natural organic Greek yoghurt can be used in it's place.
I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.
Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.
Pears are a mild, sweet fruit that is rich in important antioxidants, including vitamin C and K, flavonoids, minerals, including copper, iron, potassium, magnesium and dietary fibre. Pears are a seasonal fruit grown in the cooler months.