Pear & Rooibos Chocolate Fudge Loaf, Rooibos Water Ganache

Having adapted to a more bucolic way of life since moving to Dorset, I have found that my cooking style has also changed. I have always been focused on a natural approach to my cooking, side-lining artificial ingredients in favour of Nature’s Magic. But now, more than ever, I find myself harnessing the power of Nature to flavour and create my dishes.

A recent exploration has given me a newfound passion for using dried teas and herbs in my food. Removing the water in most cases both intensifies and increases the longevity of plants that have a transient appearance each season.

Here the majestic triumvirate of Chocolate, Pear & Rooibos was a profound discovery. Chocolate and Pear will always remind me of my youth, my wonderful mum feeding me a constant supply of tinned pears in homemade chocolate custard with vanilla ice cream…if you haven’t tried it, it’s a Mother’s Hug in a bowl.

Rooibos adds that warm, earthy vanilla note that wafts through the cake, bridging the gap between rich dark chocolate and floral perfumed pears.

Make it for yourself or someone you love; it truly is food for the soul


110g Butter, unsalted

70g Full Fat Greek Yogurt

1 tsp Lemon Juice

90g Tinned Pears, pureed

150g Plain Flour

300g Golden Caster Sugar

80g Cocoa Powder

½ tsp Salt

1 ¼ tsp Baking Powder

¾ tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda

1 Large Egg

160ml Rooibos Tea, made with 2 tea bags, hot

Rooibos Water Ganache:

100g Dark Chocolate

60ml Hot Rooibos Tea, made with 2 Tea Bags


1. Preheat oven 180C. Grease and lightly sprinkle a 22 x 10cm loaf tin with cocoa powder. Set aside in the fridge.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Set aside to cool a little.

3. Mix the yogurt, lemon juice and pears in a bowl then whisk In the egg.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda until homogenous. Make a well in the centre and whisk in the pear mixture, followed by the melted butter.

5. Remove the tea bags from the tea and whisk in the hot tea until smooth. Do this in a clockwise direction only.

6. When only just mixed (Do not overmix) pour into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

7. For the glaze, sit the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and pour over the hot tea. stand for 2 minutes, untouched before whisking gently from the edges inwards until smooth. Do not overman. If the chocolate hasn't melted, 15 seconds in a microwave or over a double boiler should do the trick.

8. Wait until the glaze cools to around 33C before pouring over your loaf and leaving to set.