Steamed pear, date and ginger couscous cake

Steamed pear, date and ginger couscous cake

Feel Good Food
Chris Chen

This isn’t a cake in the typical sense – it’s prepared on the stove rather than in the oven. The good thing about this is that you have complete control during the cooking process. This really is an ‘anything goes’ pudding, which means when you have an excess of seasonal stone fruit, such as fresh plums or apricots, use them instead of the pears. This is a great lunchbox snack or you can also try it steamed for breakfast.


Quantity Ingredient
300g silken tofu
2 tablespoons hulled tahini or almond butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated
sea salt
5 cups apple or pear juice
3 star anise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 beurre bosc pears, cored and finely sliced
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
sea salt
3 tablespoons rice syrup
1 tablespoon ginger juice, (see note)
1 lemon, finely zested
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
2 cups couscous
1/2 cup orange juice or water
3 tablespoons strawberry jam
2 teaspoons kuzu or arrowroot, dissolved in 2 teaspoons cold water
1/4 cup toasted flaked almonds


  1. To make the orange soy cream, put the tofu, tahini/almond butter, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract and orange zest in a food processor with a pinch of sea salt and process for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Keep any leftover cream refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  2. Lightly grease a 19 cm cake tin or glass dish with oil. Bring the apple juice to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the star anise, cinnamon, pears, dates and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and simmer for 7 minutes, or until the pears are soft. Remove the star anise and add the rice syrup, ginger juice, lemon zest and vanilla, stirring for 1 minute. Pour in the couscous and simmer over low heat for 3–5 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Spoon into the prepared tin and allow to cool and set for at least 15 minutes before turning out.
  3. To make the glaze, put the orange juice and jam in a saucepan and stir with a whisk as you bring it to the boil. Add the kuzu mixture and stir continuously as the mixture thickens and becomes clear. Remove from the heat and spoon over the couscous cake.
  4. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top, cut into slices and serve with orange soy cream.


  • Grate a 4 cm knob of ginger, place in a muslin cloth (cheesecloth) and squeeze out the juice.
low fat
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