• Keep reading to learn how to make cookbook author Donna Crous’ elegant Pear and Coffee Loaf!

    What Donna says about the recipe:

    “This is without a doubt a showstopper cake. I just love the chocolatey flavour and combination of coffee and pear, accentuated by the malty flavour from the blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is a dark viscous liquid that is the by-product of the sugar cane refining process.

    Before you start to panic at the ‘S’ word, don’t worry – it’s the good stuff, and it has the lowest sugar content of any sugar-cane product. Actually, it has numerous health benefits, because it contains a range of vital vitamins and minerals.”

    Makes 12 portions

    dairy-free • gluten-free • Paleo


    2–3 ripe Conference pears (depending on size)

    150g almond flour or ground almonds

    70g cassava flour

    50g raw cacao powder

    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    a pinch of pink salt

    40g coconut sugar or dry sweetener

    3 free-range eggs

    2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

    1/4 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing

    1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar

    250ml cold black coffee


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven, Gas 4). Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper. Test that the pears fit the tin by standing them upright in a row to confirm that they fit comfortably with space around them – you don’t want them to be touching each other

    2. Peel the pears and, leaving them whole, cut off the bases to make them flat so that they can stand upright without wobbling over.

    3. In a bowl sift together the almond flour, cassava flour, cacao powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and coconut sugar.

    4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, avocado oil and vinegar.

    5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then add the coffee. Stir the batter well.

    6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and insert the pears in a standing position in a row, pushing them all the way down to the base. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the cake part comes out clean and the cake feels springy to the touch. Gently remove from the tin.

    7. Serve this pear and coffee loaf cake cold, or warmed with non-dairy ice cream.

    Extracted with permission from A Healthier Family for Life by Donna Crous, published by Little Brown and available in South Africa through Jonathan Ball Publishers, R495.

    Donna is a South African living in the Channel Islands, she focuses on using raw, natural ingredients in her recipes to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle for her and her family, and she wants to teach us how we can do the same in her new cookbook.

    Buy her book at your nearest bookstore or find it on Takealot or Loot

    Find Donna on Instagram @Donnacrous

    Read her award winning blog Eighty20nutrition 


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    Sjaan is a food stylist and recipe developer for Food & Home. She aims to create mouth-watering images and exciting How To videos on our Instagram, hoping to inspire people to try new recipes and have fun in the kitchen.