o 120 ml aquafaba (chickpea water), cold from the fridge
o 3 tsp powdered brown sugar (you can also use maple syrup)
o 120 g vegan dark chocolate
o 1 l water
o 120 g sugar
o 2 cinnamon sticks
o 2-3 cloves
o 1 star anise
o 4 pears
• Prepare the pear sauce by combining all the ingredients in a blender and mixing until smooth. Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, water, sunflower oil and pear sauce until combined. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and spices. Mix well and then add the chopped chocolate. Grease and flour your pan (or line your pan with baking paper). I used a 20 cm round pan for this recipe. Divide your baking mixture and bake two cake layers for 20 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack until completely cooled down.
• Poach the pears by putting water, sugar and spices in a large cooking pot. Bring to simmer until the sugar dissolves. Peel the pears and gently add them to the simmering water. Cook until soft, for 15-20 minutes, depending on their size. Once ready, remove them and continue to simmer the water until it becomes syrup.
• Melt the chocolate for the frosting and cool it down before adding to aquafaba. In the meantime, place aquafaba in a medium bowl and whisk with a hand mixer. Once foamy, add sugar and continue mixing until it forms soft white peaks. Add melted chocolate and whisk for another 2 minutes. It is important that your aquafaba is cold (the best thing is to leave your chickpea can in the fridge overnight) as this will make it easier when whipping the frosting. The result should be silky chocolate frosting. If your frosting seems too liquid, place it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes until it gets a nice, smooth consistency.
• Assemble the cake by spreading a light layer of frosting in between the cake layers. Cover the whole cake with remaining frosting and decorate with poached pears. Serve the cake with peach slices. If you prefer, you can serve pears in half or even whole. In that case, cover your pears with the remaining syrup for extra taste and sweetness.