Saturday, May 31, 2008

a secret weapon

Ladies, here's a secret weapon to keep in your back pocket for when you really want your significant other to do something for you.
Men, here's a little recipe to save for those days when your wife is feeling a bit blue.

What is it?
It's a Chocolate Pear Tart.
Now, I am not really a chocolate fan - weird, I know - but this tart is more then just plain old chocolate. It has the texture of a dark chocolate truffle, balanced perfectly with the light sweetness of the pears. It has a bit of a Mayan chocolate feel with the addition of cinnamon for complexity. It's not your ordinary chocolate tart...and I can bet that whoever you make this for will love you forever (and help you clean out the garage!)

Pear and Chocolate Tart
  • 3 x Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 x large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 x large egg
  1. Bring pears, sugar, water and lemon juice up to a simmer. Cook pear just below a simmer (and place a plate or piece of parchment over surface of liquid to keep pears from floating) until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. After pears have cooled a bit, remove from liquid, sprinkle with brandy (optional), toss and chill until ready to serve.
  2. To prepare crust, cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg yolks, adding one at a time. Sift together flour, cocoa and salt and add to butter mixture. Mix until dough just comes together. Shape in to a disc and chill until ready to roll. If preparing ahead of time, pull dough from fridge an hour before rolling.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just over ¼-inch (.5 cm) thick. Line a 9-inch (23 cm) removable-bottom tart shell with dough, trim edges and chill for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Dock pastry with a fork and bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F (160 C). Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat cream with spices to just below a simmer and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir slowly. Stir in vanilla.
  6. Whisk egg in a small cup then stir into chocolate. Pour into chocolate shell and bake for 12 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then chill for 2 hours before serving.
  7. To garnish with pears, slice, pears thinly and arrange over tart.


My Sweet & Saucy said...

I love the design of the pears! Gorgeous looking!

Anonymous said...

yummy and looks beautiful. somehow it is similar to a tart I used to make it. but with chopped apple insted of pear and also adding dried ginger to the tart

deeeeeeena said...

I love anything ginger...and I bet ginger and pears would be spectacular together!

ima said...

Oh, yes it was very very yummy !

Annie Ruok said...

my mouth is watering looking at these pix - literally (slurp!)

Ginny said...

that would definitely work on me!!! I love chocolate and pears!!! delicious!

Sharon said...

From the first picture, I thought it was going to be some kind of pretty mochi! Looks delicious. I love pears almost as much.

mindy said...

This is so elegant; and what a great color and taste contrast! Thanks for the inspiration.