Last Sukkot our friend Kobi served us pareve (non-dairy) pear and pecan cake that was really good.
Fruit and sugar layers
- 3-4 firm pears
- 3-4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet pareve chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup pecans (ideally raw halves, but toasted bits are acceptable too)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 T cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably Ceylon
- 1-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 beaten eggs
- 7 ounces (volume) white sugar
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 ounces apple or orange juice or almond or coconut milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1.5 cups flour
- pinch salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Oil or spray a 8 x 13 or similar sized baking dish.
- Peel and quarter pears, remove cores, and slice thin and place in bottom of casserole.
- Combine brown sugar, cocoa and cinnamon in a small bowl (best done with your fingers).
- Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, and the dry ingredients in another
- Mix dry and wet ingredients, stirring lightly to combine to make a batter. Do no overmix.
- Top pears with half of the brown sugar mixture, and top with chopped chocolate and half the pecans.
- Pour on the batter. This is best done by spooning on dollops of the batter on top of the other ingredients, and then smoothing them together with a plastic spatula.
- Top with the remaining pecans.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil onto the remaining brown sugar mixture, and mix together with your hands until it is dark brown and shiny. Add up to 2 additional tablespoons of oil if necessary. Sprinkle this over the ingredients in the pan.
- Bake 40-55 minutes, testing with sharp knife or skewer to see that it comes out clean. (Or at least relatively clean -- no batter should adhere, but chocolate doesn't matter.) The precise timing depends on the shape and size of the pan and the exact temperature of your oven and the ingredients.
- Serves 12, and is very nice warm with vanilla ice cream or coconut sorbet.