Double Chocolate Cranberry Pear Cake

By Gail Gordon Oliver

In our Fall 2008 issue, we published a recipe for Double Chocolate Pear Cake, which I’d adapted from one provided by Ontario Tender Fruit Producers. The cake has a moist and fudgy interior and is a great way to use local pears. I’ve since made a few revisions, including the addition of fresh cranberries. Dried tart cherries or golden berries (dried Cape gooseberries) would also work well. The cake tastes best the day after it’s made.

Makes 16 squares

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup cacao powder

1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips

3 very ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1  large egg

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Line the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift in the cacao powder. Whisk until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the pears and lemon juice. Mash until very smooth. Whisk in the egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until blended. Fold in the cranberries. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake in a 350º F oven until the top is firm and springs back slightly when touched, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan to cool completely.