How to make a spiced pear & chocolate loaf


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp each ground cardamom and mixed spice
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Beurre Bosc pears
  • 1 cup Edmonds Standard Flour
  • 2 tsp Edmonds Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Edmonds Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup Chelsea Brown Sugar
  • ¼tsp sea salt
  • 150g butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (170°C fanbake).
  2. Grease and line an 8-cup capacity loaf tin, allowing enough baking paper to hang over the edge of the tin to help with removing the loaf when cooked.
  3. Mix together water, sugar, spices, orange and vanilla in a large pot.
  4. Peel the pears and carefully slice a thin layer off the bottom so they will sit flat.
  5. Place pears in the pot, making sure they are covered by the liquid. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until just tender. Remove from the poaching liquid and set aside. (The poaching liquid can be used as a cordial with soda water).
  6. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder together into a bowl.
  7. Add almond meal, brown sugar and salt and combine.
  8. In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, milk and maple syrup.
  9. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mix. Stir until just combined.
  10. Pour a little of the batter into the loaf tin, then place the pears in, standing upright.
  11. Pour the remaining batter around the pears, leaving about 2-3cm at the top of the tin to allow for the cake to rise.
  12. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the loaf.
  13. Allow to cool slightly in the tin, then remove from tin, slice and serve with ice cream, yoghurt, custard or whipped cream mixed with a little orange blossom essence.

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