Pinot Noir Pear Cake with Rose + Basil Coconut Whipped Cream (vegan & gluten-free) //

“Peace is not always easy to grasp or keep close. In the process of attaining and protecting it, you may find yourself tired, weary, and uncertain on how to keep your peace safe. While being uncertain is normal, continue to commit yourself to peacefulness. You are worthy of every drop of sweetness and ease that you encounter. Being tested is a part of the journey. Giving up is not.”

— Alex Elle

I hope you all had the most beautiful Christmas Day. While my plans were completely transformed due to the horrible sickness/fever I have been battling, I feel so grateful in so many ways. What a lesson in letting go, seeking joy, and self-care it has been.

Last week before the sick haze took over, I made this holiday cake and fell in LOVE. It’s both bitter and sweet, just like this season is for many of us. The rose + basil coconut whipped cream offers a refreshing and bright balance, and might just become a new dessert topping staple in my life. This cake is basically the healthiest way you can eat and drink your feelings, so cheers to the end of 2017, friends!

What you need:
2 cups gluten free flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup pitted dates

1/2 cup Pinot noir

3/4 cup almond milk

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 pears (1 thinly sliced, 2 grated)

For the rose + basil coconut whipped cream:

1 can coconut cream (refrigerated for at least 6 hours)

1/8 tsp rose extract

3 fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup powdered sugar

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 375, and very lightly grease a 9” cake pan with coconut oil. Then, cut a circular layer of parchment paper and place it in the pan.

2. Soak the dates in 1/2 cup of Pinot noir to soften them.

3. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.

4. Finely slice one of your pears and set aside, and grate the other two by hand or in a food processor and set aside for later.

5. In a food processor, blend the almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, dates and Pinot noir until super smooth, add the grated pear, then pour onto the dry ingredients. Fold gently until just combined, then pour into the tin and smooth down gently until flat.

6. Arrange your sliced pear on top. Brush with a touch more Pinot noir, dust with extra cinnamon, then place in the oven.

7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

8. While your cake is baking, make the coconut whipped cream. In a small bowl, scoop out only the creamy top part of the coconut cream (don’t use the watery liquid). Add the rose, finely chopped basil leaves, and powdered sugar and mix on high until super creamy (you can save it in a jar until ready to serve on top of your cake).

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