Dark chocolate, pear + rosemary cake {gluten + dairy-free} + exciting news!

We were sitting at the dinner table the other night when Kye started talking and asking questions about same sex couples. He was very cute and I could see his little brain ticking over it all. 'Some families have two Mums, don't they?'. ' Yep.' 'Some families have two Dad's don't they?' 'Yep.' It was after this last statement that Ada piped up 'If there were two Dad's, would they know how to cook, mum?' (I giggled at this one. Their Dad doesn't cook a whole lot, so I can see why she was concerned!). I was starting to reply 'I'm sure they would...' when Kye butt in with the line of the night. 'Or some famous lady called Emma could teach them how to cook!'. I laughed out loud. He was dead serious. It wasn't what he said that got me thinking, it was the words he had chosen that stuck... 

I had my Perth book launch the other night (I'll share some pics soon) and it all went so much better than I ever would have dreamt! The sleepless nights I'd had leading up to the event were really not called for, it was a lovely casual night filled with loads of laughs and it turns out I'm not as terrified of talking in front of 80+ people as I had once thought. It was really, really lovely meeting all the new faces, but it was quite a shock to hear that some of them were star-struck meeting me. As cute and as flattering as it was, really, seriously, I'm not famous! I'm just me. I'm that same slightly awkward and outspoken girl that I've always been, who talks too much when nervous and pulls really silly faces way too often. I stress out when the kids fight and as much as I love cooking, I still loath thinking about what to cook for dinner, every night of the week. Right now I'm sitting here in my gym clothes, hours after I returned home in need of a shower, the dishes still need doing and the pile of clothes that needs washing is getting way out of hand. I'm real sorry, but nope, nothing famous about me here. 

Kye's comment got me thinking a lot about this whole 'famous' palaver. Being famous is something that so many people aspire to be. But why? And really what does famous mean? I know there are people in this world who would make me freak out if I ever got to meet them, people who I adore and would have to try my hardest to remain 'cool, calm and collected' around. But at the end of the day, aren't we all just people doing the best that we can do to live a life we love?

This leads perfectly into my next bit of news. I did mentioned my exciting news briefly in my last favourites post, but as I know a bunch of you only come here for the recipe posts, I thought I'd share it again once more before the voting closes! I'm extremely honoured, flattered and straight-up stoked to be a finalist in the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards in the Best Original Recipes category! (This makes me very happy, but not famous!). This is the second time I've been a finalist, but unlike the last time when I was a teeny tiny newbie blogger up against three of the biggest names in the blogging world, this time around I feel like I have as much chance as any other finalist (some of whom are people I love and adore, and yes would probably even go so far as to call famous, in my eyes! Ha!). It would mean the world to me to win these awards, mostly because if I did win I would get to fly to the States to attend the awards, getting to meet so many of the bloggers who I call famous! Talk about being contradicting right?! Ha!

If you enjoy stopping by here I would really, really love and appreciate your votes! You can vote by clicking here. The Best Original Recipe category is the 10th category down the list and I am number 3 within that list (with the stuffed eggplant photo). Saveur does require you to do a quick little sign up to cast your vote (you just need a email address, user name and password), this stops multiple votes (but psst, you can sign up once for every email address for those of you with more than one!) and it only takes about two seconds to do. They won't spam you or anything and you can opt out of their newsletter if that's not your kinda thing. 

Voting closes in just a few days on Wednesday 9th April (USA time), so please get in quick and tell all your mates to do so as well! The blog with the most votes wins!

Thanks a bunch
Much love
xx Emm

* For anyone that's tried to vote and had issues, this note will help.
* I'm having a book launch in Auckland at Cook the Books in Grey Lynn on Thursday the 24th April from 6pm onwards. To find out all the details and info on how to get tickets click here.
* Raglan (NZ) friends and anyone who would love a day trip, I'm having a little launch/signing on the 26th April at The Herbal Dispensary, Raglan. Click here for full details. 

Dark chocolate, pear + rosemary cake
Make sure the pears you use are ripe but firm, you don't want to use really ripe juicy pears here or they will add too much moisture. I used Brookfarm macadamia nut oil, a light flavoured olive oil would also work. I used Whittaker's dark chocolate in the cake and icing. I use Coles brand brown rice flour, which is the finest brown rice flour I've come across here in Australia. I cooked my cake in a bundt cake tin, but I don't reccomend it! This cake is really lovely and soft (almost pudding-like), so best to stop trying to be a fancy pants and just go with a regular round cake tin! (Note to self). What we call potato flour here in Australia and NZ, is actually known everywhere else in the world as potato starch. For the sake of clarity, I've labelled it as potato starch below.
Serves 10 or more

3/4 cup (105g) fine brown rice flour
3/4 cup (120g) potato starch* see headnotes
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 cup (200g) unrefined raw sugar
1/4 cup (25g) ground linseed's (flaxseeds)
1/2 cup (80g) roughly chopped dark chocolate
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
a good pinch fine sea salt

3 large ripe but firm pears, peeled
3 large free-range eggs
1 cup (250ml) oil (I used macadamia oil, see headnotes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate coconut ganache to ice (I added a touch more coconut milk this time round to make a thinner ganache), rosemary flowers/leaves and cacao nibs to decorate, optional

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Grease a 23cm cake tin, and line the bottom if using a large round tin.

Sieve flours, cocoa and baking soda into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, ground linseed's, chopped chocolate, rosemary and salt. Grate two of the pears and finely chop the other. Add the chopped pear to the dry ingredients and mix well to coat the pear pieces. Place the grated pear into another bowl and mix in eggs, oil and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and pour into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 50-65 minutes, depending on the cake tin used. If you are unsure, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean it's cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Invert onto a wire rack and cool completely before icing with chocolate ganache. You can decorate with rosemary flowers/leaves and cacao nibs if you like. This cake will happily store airtight for 3 days, or longer in the fridge. Serve at room temperature or warm slightly to serve as a pudding.

Recipe adapted from this one in the archives.

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  • Winnie
    April 8, 2014 at 12:24 am

    This is so gorgeous!!!

    • emma
      April 8, 2014 at 2:44 am

      Thanks Winnie! xx

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    April 8, 2014 at 12:51 am

    This cake looks perfect!! I love the flavour!

    • emma
      April 8, 2014 at 2:45 am

      Thanks Katrina! Chocolate and pears always a winner in my books and that little touch of rosemary adds something a little special 🙂

  • Anonymous
    April 8, 2014 at 2:10 am

    What a gorgeous cake! Also, I just want to thank you for giving your kids an impression of same-sex couples as nothing out of the ordinary; that part of the post really made me smile. I look forward to being a mother one day and knowing that there are parents like you out there who take this approach with their children reassures me and gives me hope that my future family won't be considered abnormal or immoral. xx, R

    • emma
      April 8, 2014 at 2:44 am

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! It's really important to me that we bring up our kids to be accepting of everyones choices. Much love to ya xx

  • Emiko
    April 8, 2014 at 6:28 am

    This is the sweetest! Kids are so funny 🙂 And you are already famous, I'll admit I felt a wee star struck when we met in Perth!! Huge congrats on the Saveur nomination – very well deserved, as usual. Off to vote now. xx

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:49 am

      Really Emiko!!!?? That's funny cause I felt like that meeting you too! Haha xx

  • Nicola Galloway / Homegrown Kitchen
    April 8, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Love the combo of chocolate and rosemary! And you are super famous Emma, in the eyes of many, having a book kind of does that but I don't think that makes you a different person it just means that people admire who you are and what you do. And a blog that is nominated for a Saveur award definitely makes you even more famous. You are awesome and have my vote!

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:53 am

      Thanks so much Nicola. I like how you described 'famous' in your eyes, I'm totally cool with people admiring my work and this is the exact reason why I think of the bloggers who I admire as 'famous'! xx

  • The Kitchenmaid
    April 8, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Such a great post and an amazeballs recipe to boot? If that doesn't deserve fame I'm not sure what does x

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:53 am

      Haha, thanks Lucy! xx

  • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things
    April 8, 2014 at 7:06 am

    It goes without saying, I have voted for you Emm… what a gorgeous conversation! And the cake, wow! I love Brook Farm macadamia oil. Delicious in cakes and muffins.

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:54 am

      It's great isn't it?! And thanks so much for your vote Lizzy! xx

  • Sini | my blue and white kitchen
    April 8, 2014 at 7:55 am

    What a lovely cake you've created, Emma! It would be wonderful to meet you in Vegas! Fingers crossed 🙂

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:54 am

      Fingers crossed alright! For both of us 🙂 xx

  • Zinny | The Vanilla Hub
    April 8, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Would love to try this recipe out! It looks divine. Looking forward to you coming to Auckland! 😀

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:55 am

      Thanks love, I've now updated the details for the Auckland Launch xx

  • Skye
    April 8, 2014 at 8:28 am

    This cake is truly beautiful. I love the flavours and I love the simplicity of how you've decorated it. What flowers did you use?
    So many congratulations on the Saveur nomination – truly well deserved. You must be very proud of everything that you have achieved and what you have created here.

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:56 am

      Hey Skye, they are just the little flowers from off my rosemary bush- cute eh?
      Thanks so much for your lovely words xx

  • InTolerant Chef
    April 8, 2014 at 9:01 am

    What a cutie, of course to your son you're a hero Em! Wonderful recipe, Rosemary is great in sweet dishes-yummo. Good luck with the award xox

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:56 am

      🙂 I actually never thought about it like that! He was dead serious, which was totally cute. xx

  • pollyb
    April 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Cake looks delicious and I cannot wait to make it onboard !
    Am flying in to Perth later this month and look forward to buying your book and taking it back with me to work in Europe …Congratulations

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:57 am

      Ah how awesome! xx

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    April 8, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    So pretty and perfect! Congrats again on your nomination : )

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:57 am

      Thanks Abby! xx

  • Dixya
    April 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    But at the end of the day, aren't we all just people doing the best that we can do to live a life we love? –love this line.

    Congrats once again 🙂

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:57 am

      Thanks lovely! xx

  • Anna
    April 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    I was literally thinking this morning "I'd like to use up that Rice Flour and feel like Chocolate cake" then I opened my inbox…

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:58 am

      Ah perfect! Happy baking! xx

  • Lindsay Miles
    April 9, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Oh my goodness, I am so excited about this recipe, because (aside from the fact it looks amazing) a friend house-sat for me a few months back, and left all sorts of "weird" (to her) ingredients because she knew I'd be able to use them. And sure I did – the polenta, the flax meal, the spelt flour, the tapioca starch – but I've been stuck with the bag of potato flour. I just did NOT know what to do with it, and most recipes I found wanted a teaspoon. And you have come to me with the answer! Thank you so much! Just need some pears and I'm good to go… : )

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:58 am

      🙂 The potato flour adds a lovely texture and moisture xx

    • Lindsay Miles
      April 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Glad to report back, I've made the cake and it was great. Tried to make the icing but it seized up, so had it plain. (The icing is in the fridge waiting to be turned into chocolate brownies) Have realised that the bag of potato flour I have is 1kg, and this recipe uses 120g. So I will be making it again another 8 times… : )

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
    April 9, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Congratulations on your nomination!!! I'm a new visitor to your blog–it is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to stick around and check out more. And this cake–wowza.

    • emma
      April 9, 2014 at 3:59 am

      Thanks Laura and welcome! xx

  • london bakes
    April 9, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Oh, I definitely think you're famous now! And rightly so. Not many people could create such a beautiful + inspirational space xo

  • Anh
    April 9, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Congrats Emma! I can't wait to find your book in a bookstore soon 🙂

  • Jodi Kay
    April 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Congratulations on your book, your nomination and the gorgeousness that is this cake, Emma. You deserve all the 'famous' 😉 xx

  • Sam
    April 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Em! This looks amazing! After dreaming about this since seeing it on instagram the other day I've finally got myself over here to the recipe. PS – you've got my vote. Loving the oil, we'll have to share it on the Brookfarm page 🙂 xxxx

  • bigsislittledish
    April 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Congratulations on your fame! I voted for you. This cake sounds lovely, I have been craving herbal flavours in desserts lately. I'll give it a try!

  • Mimi
    April 15, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Congratulations on being a finalist on Saveur!!! I, too, have become gluten-free, not because of Celiac, but because not eating gluten makes me feel so much better. I love your recipes and plan on making my own recipes on my site. I will be experiencing a lot with making my own flours and other things gluten-free. Thank you for being positive about going gluten free. You are on my list of inspirations.

  • Anonymous
    June 3, 2014 at 8:59 am

    This sure sounds yum. I want to make it tomorrow for friends coming to dinner. Can I use coconut oil instead of olive oil?

    • emma
      June 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Yes that would totally work! Just make sure it's liquid when you use it xx

  • Anonymous
    July 1, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Hi, I am really eager to make this cake, but your listing of "potato flour (starch)" as an ingredient confuses me, as potato flour and potato starch are two different things! Which one do you mean? If possible, the brand you use may help resolve this dilemma! Thanks, Luke.

    • emma
      July 1, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Hi Luke, I know it's confusing! I hope you got my email. Otherwise I've re-worded it in the recipe above to make more sense. What is known as potato starch in most parts of the world, is what we here in Australia and in NZ call potato flour (we don't have actual potato flour here you see). This recipe (and all my recipes that say potato flour) call for you to use potato starch. xx

  • Kate
    September 12, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Lovely recipe. I made it with coconut oil and the only thing I would do differential would be to chop the pear slightly larger. but it was great and very well received.

  • Clara P
    September 25, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Thanks for the recipe, I did it yesterday and used coconut oil as well and reduced the amount of sugar (120 hrs total). And it was beautiful.
    Thanks Emma, lovely recipes as always!

  • kvleiva
    November 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Emma. A big congratulations to you, and thank you for this delicious recipe. Just made it today (I'm a dark chocoholic) and my whole family loved it. We live on a farm in Spain and we have wild rosemary growing all around us, so I was so excited to be able to use the beautiful blue flowers (which are in season now here). A beautiful touch and the subtle rosemary flavor was perfectly lovely.

    • emma
      December 1, 2014 at 3:26 am

      Thanks so much for your comment Kvleiva! I'm so happy to hear you and your family loved this cake. It's such a cool feeling to know my food is being eaten all the way over in Spain! Much love xx