Dark Chocolate, Buckwheat and Pear Loaf


  • 1/2 cup (125ml) coconut milk
  • 3/4 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (375g) cooked puréed pear (see NOTE)
  • 1/2 cup (65g) roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup (65g) unrefined raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup (35g) ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup (46g) buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (46g) fine brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt



Makes 1 loaf

I first made this loaf a few years back, using the flesh of the super-soft, astringent Hachiya persimmon. It was amazing, but knowing that most people would be hard-pressed to get their hands on these fruit, I’ve played around with puréed pear instead. This isn’t the sort of loaf you might be used to – it’s almost pudding-like in its texture. It’s lovely eaten warm from the oven with the chocolate still melted in little puddles, but also good served cold, thickly sliced, with a cup of fruity herb tea.


Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Grease a loaf tin and line with a strip of baking paper that covers the base and comes up and over the sides by about 2cm. I use my deep 20cm x 10.5cm x 7.5cm bread tin, but any loaf tin will do.

Combine coconut milk and lemon juice or vinegar in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Add eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract and pear purée and whisk until smooth.

Tip chocolate, sugar and ground almonds into a large bowl. Sift in flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine. Pour in the egg mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the tin and bake for 55–60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. If you are having trouble finding a piece of loaf to test that doesn’t just leave your skewer covered in melted chocolate, use your finger to test instead. Press gently in the centre of the loaf and if it’s done it will bounce back.

Remove from oven and cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep, airtight, for up to 3 days, or longer in the fridge.

NOTE: To make pear purée, put 3 large peeled, cored and finely sliced pears in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 8–10 minutes or until soft. Remove from the heat and purée until smooth. You need 1 1/2 cups for this recipe – any extra is delicious stirred through plain yoghurt or make up a double batch and freeze some for next time. You could also use apple purée.

Wine match, Waipara Hills 
2015 Equinox Pinot Gris 

A rich and textural Pinot Gris that opens up wonderfully with time in the glass.The pear, almond and buckwheat flavours in this dark chocolate loaf will match nicely with the nougat and nutty characters of the Equinox Pinot Gris.