I am off to Singapore on Monday which should serve as an interesting break for this very dry winter. As a general rule I will always choose ice and snow over sun and humidity but this winter has been a challenge - my lungs haven't coped well at all, I have a persistant cold that won't seem to break - I have been carrying it in my chest for well over a month now. It leaves me listless and tired. Tis the season of flu I guess. I am subsisting on bowls of spiced bone broth and mugs of strange lemon turmeric concoctions. All I want though are thick wedges of this glorious tart I had made for a yuletide dinner several weeks ago (for all my northern hemisphere readers, we celebrate Yulefest up here in my Mountain home every July so we can try and emmulate a European Christmas kind of vibe).
Pears have been simply divine this winter. Pears, sauteed in a butter caramel and set in thick chocolate - what could be make this winter dessert better? A decent hit of whiskey. Thats what. This tart is a glorious treat - comforting and sweet, rich but not cloying.
Chocolate & Pear Tart With a Whiskey Caramel
- 60 grams brown Sugar
- 40 grams unsalted butter
- 3 firm beurre bosc pears sliced into wedges
- 65 grams dark chocolate, chopped
- 40 grams brown sugar (extra)
- 3 Tbsp / 75 grams golden syrup *
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp Whiskey ( I used Jamesons)
- 1 Tbsp cream
- Whiskey, extra ( to add to the caramel to taste)
For the Pastry:
- 35 grams Dutch Cocoa
- 200 grams Plain Flour
- 80 grams Icing Sugar
- 140 grams unsalted butter, chilled, chopped
- 2 egg yolks,
- 2 tbsp iced water
1. Make the Pastry: Place the cocoa, flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and iced water, while the motor is running. Process until a dough forms. Place dough between two sheets of non stick baking paper and roll out to a 3 mm thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the dough from the paper and use it to line a fluted pie tin. Trim the edges and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
3. Heat a large fry pan over high heat. Add the first measure of brown sugar and butter and stir to combine Add the pear slices and cook for 10-15 minutes basting continuously in the sauce until caramelised. Remove the pears and set aside to cool slightly. Reserve the caramel.
4. Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Place the chocolate and extra butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and stir until melted. Allow to cool slightly and place in a bowl with the second measure of brown sugar, golden syrup, eggs, whiskey and cream. Whisk to combine.
5. Place the tart pan on a baking tray. Arrange the pear slices in the pan and pour the chocolate filling over the pears.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate for several hours before serving.
7. For serving, reheat the caramel (add a splash of whiskey) and bring to a simmer. Reduce caramel until it is a thick syrupy consistency. Pour over pear slices.
*If you are outside of New Zealand or Australia Golden syrup can be hard to come by so substitute for honey or treacle