I’ve been revisiting my old blog lately for recipes as a tentative action to desert it, but while looking through old recipes and photos, I got thinking that the old photos, which were taken with a Casio point&shoot, were better than my recent photos! Why am I feeling embarrassed looking at my huge camera and lens? It all comes down to inspiration and enthusiasm in the end, I suppose.
I love cooking for people and I don’t get freaked out about unexpected guests or last-minute dinner gatherings because I’ve learned some good tricks through my culinary journey. On such occasions like the NYE night, I usually make a tart as it always pleases the crowd since it sounds fancy and tastes so good. The practical reason I make tarts is that it never fails no matter what kind you make as long as there is something for the filling.
And at the moment, pears are abundant here. There are so many different types, too, so picking the right type, sweet and juicy ones, for baking is a good start. However, if the pears are not fully ripe, poaching in sugar water will do a trick.
The richness of tarts, whether it’s filled with good quality chocolate or fruit or custard, is decadent indulgence in butter and sugar. Especially, I have a soft spot for fruit tarts and one of the things I enjoy most on my visits to France is a tart, all kinds of tarts.
I’ve made tarts on a few occasions and they seem very popular among Turks, it being so different to Turkish desserts.
Of all kinds, my favourites are apricot and cardamom, blueberry or raspberry and pear chocolate. Not so big on lemon tarts like others, except the ones I got from the oldest boulengerie in Bordeaux.
It was my second time making a pear chocolate tart as I always have the ingredients in my kitchen, pear, chocolate, almond meal and vanilla. Having made it for year, now I can make it with my eyes closed.
The second time I didn’t poach the pears in cognac like I did the last time, but I highly recommend you do it because it gives much fuller taste. If not in liquor, at least in vanilla and sugar. Using good quality chocolate is also crucial. Since I don’t have a sweet tooth, I usually use 70% or over bitter chocolate. The last one was made with 85% and my guests might have found it a bit too bitter. Well, sorry.
I’m going to repost the old recipe for this tart.
Chocolate and pear tart
dessert recipes | serves 4 to 6
This dessert is great for chocoholics and the refreshing pear juices cut through the rich flavour – great for any dinner parties.
• shortcrust pastry
• 125g ground almonds
• 2 large eggs
• 125g butter, softened
• 95g caster sugar
• 185g dark chocolate, melted
• 3 bosc or conference pears, peeled, cored and quartered
• crème fraîche, to serve
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Roll out the pastry until ½cm thick and use it to line a 24cm tart tin. Leave in the freezer to rest for at least 20 minutes, or longer if you can.
Bake the pastry blind for around 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove, set aside, and reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/gas 3.
Pear Chocolate Cinnamon Cake
If you would like something a bit different to conventional tarts, try this recipe as it is a naked tart that saves you from making a pastry sheet.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup almond meal and extra for topping
50 g dark chocolate melted
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 pears, sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
some fruit jam for brushing (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°C and brush a tin with butter.
Slice pears thinly and soak them in lemon juice.
Cream the butter with sugar. Add the egg and whisk well before adding the dry ingredients, melted chocolate.
Pour the mixture into the tin and brush with jam and sprinkle almond meal and cinnamon over the top. Preferably, mix almond meal, butter and cinnamon and rub it with fingertips to make crumbles for the topping.
Bake for 40 mins and cool it in the tin for 10 mins before transferring onto a rack.
Mix your almonds, eggs, butter and sugar together and stir in the melted chocolate while it’s still warm. Pour the mixture evenly into the pastry case and then press the pears into the chocolate and almond mixture.
Bake the tart for 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the chocolate and almond mixture is firm. Serve warm with crème fraîche.
You might also like Light Almond Pear Tart