The Happy Pear simplify the traditional Black Forest gateau by making a moist loaf cake and covering it in a generous serving of kirsch-infused coconut cream.
Put the tins of coconut milk in the fridge so the cream separates and hardens.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 1kg loaf tin with non-stick baking paper. To make the flax ‘eggs’, put the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl and leave to coagulate for 5 minutes. The ground flax will soak up all the liquid and form an egg-like consistency.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar. Drain the cherries, making sure you keep the syrup from the tin. Set aside in separate bowls. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove from the heat and stir in the flax ‘eggs’, sunflower oil, oat milk, kirsch or rum, if using, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the cherry syrup. Mix well until it comes together into a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin, smoothing the top level. Bake in the oven for 55 to 65 minutes, until a skewer comes out almost completely clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling, put the reserved cherry syrup in a saucepan on a high heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, lower to medium and reduce to a nice thick syrupy texture, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the icing, remove the tins of coconut milk from the fridge, making sure you don’t shake them, then scoop out the hard coconut cream from the top. Put the coconut cream in a large bowl with the kirsch, if using, and the maple syrup. Mix together until smooth, but don’t over work, as it can separate when over mixed. Trim the top of the cake so it will lie flat on a plate. Cut the cooled cake in half lengthwise. Spread three-quarters of the coconut cream on the bottom part, then scatter all but five of the cherries over the coconut cream. Sandwich the remaining half of the cake on top. Dollop five neat spoonfuls of the coconut cream in a line across the top of the cake, then sit a cherry in the middle of each dollop.
To serve, drizzle the cherry syrup on top and decorate with some shaved chocolate.