I find a lot of AIP treats too sweet now that my palate has acclimatised somewhat. My January Whole30 certainly helped on that front and I'm all for keeping it up, if my lowered inflammation is anything to go on. As much as I love you, my friends, I can't post too many treats. You see, by the time you've tried (and hopefully enjoyed) whichever of my baked creations I've been there already - several times - and it ain't doing me any favours!
So my way of getting around that little conundrum (ahem) was to seek out a replacement for the likes of honey and maple syrup and where better to look than Mother Nature's soil no less. Of course, I wouldn't have been making this on my GAPS diet but, just like the AIP, that isn't a forever way of life. You assess the situation, hone into your gut (feeling) and move with the times. What I'm trying to say, in a round about nonsensical way, is that we're now eating parsnips. In cake!!
I don't make too many desserts these days because I want to concentrate on nourishment, which excludes giving in to cravings. I know only too well about the slippery slope that calls like the sirens once you give in. However, once in a while it is downright critical for happy existence and particularly so with having a family who can develop non-AIP self help shopping skills at breathtaking speed when denied, if you know what I mean 😉 . Relying on the natural sweetness of parsnip and pears, this cake is sweetened by fruit and vegetable alone. As is typical when baking with coconut flour, it yields a dense cake in the realm of my Banana Cinnamon Teacake, if you've tried that. Again extremely moist, but this one has a fudgy, almost creamy buttery texture and a granular bite from the pear. Put simply, it is pretty darn "kick you in the crotch, spit on your neck fantastic"!
If you want to hurry up the how-long-do-I-have-to-wait-before-I-can-sink-my-teeth-in-this process, wait for it to cool down and then pop it into the fridge, still in the tin. That way you only need salivate for three or four hours or so.
pear and parsnip teacake
Most things baked with coconut flour tend to be better next day and this one certainly fits into that category. However if you're keen to get tucking in, wait until the cake has cooled down and pop into the fridge still in the tin. You should be able to cut into it after 3-4 hours.
(makes one 9x5 inch loaf)
Print the recipe here
2 large firm red pears, unpeeled
1/2 cup coconut oil
generous pinch sea salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 large parsnip, peeled and finely grated to yield 2 packed cups
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 gelatin eggs as follows
gelatin eggs -
2 tbsp grass-fed gelatin
5 tbsp hot water
Start by cooking the pears. Cut them into quarters and remove the core. Chop into pieces and put into a medium pan with a tablespoon of filtered water. Put a lid on the pan, bring it up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until softened. If your pears are juicier than mine and there is a fair amount of liquid left, remove the lid and bubble away to evaporate the excess. Remove from the pan and put into a food processor and purée. You should have 3/4 cup purée. Transfer to a small plate and cool the purée completely.
Place a baking sheet into the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a 9x 5 inch loaf tin with parchment paper. *
Put the pear purée, coconut oil and salt into a bowl and, using a stand or handheld mixer, combine well. Next add the coconut milk and grated parsnip and mix again. Sift in the coconut flour and baking soda. Mix again until well combined.
Now make the gelatin egg. Put the gelatin into a small bowl. Add the water and quickly whisk until melted and the mixture looks frothy. With the motor running, pour this mixture into the cake and whizz again for a few seconds to fully incorporate. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
For the optional topping:
Cut the pear into quarters and remove the core. Place flesh side down on a board and cut each quarter into 4 slices lengthwise and press into the top of the surface of the cake down the centre. I like to make slight indentations at the quarter way mark which helps put the slices in evenly and that way you'll use them all up. Using a clean pastry brush, brush the melted coconut oil over the pear slices. Dust with a little cinnamon, if you like. Now place the cake onto the hot baking sheet and cook for about 65-70 minutes until golden brown, firm to the touch and coming away from the sides of the parchment. Allow to cool in the tin for 2 hours, before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely. Note: If you don't put the pear topping on, the cake will cook in less time, so check after 1 hour.
Once completely cold, wrap the cake up and keep in an airtight container in the fridge overnight, or if you are making this in the morning, wrap it up, put in the fridge and cut into it during the evening. Restrain yourself because if you cut too soon, the cake will likely fall apart.
Store in the fridge or freezer.