These are a great ‘make in advance’ dessert and a dream as they are one of those ‘free- from’ sweet treats that suit a variety of diets. These are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free & dairy free! Yes!!! I made these at a festive demonstration during the week and they were a big hit. Again, Rory O’C gets the nod for this tasty delight!
What you need to serve 6 – 8 people;
- 4 conference pears
- 70g sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 strips of lemon rind
- 4 cardamom pods
- 100g dark chocolate (70%)
- 1 teaspoon of sunflower oil
- Handful of pistachios
- 1- 2 tablespoons chopped candied peel
- 1-2 tablespoons cacao nibs
What to do:
Peel the pears with a vegetable peeler and half each one neatly from top to bottom to attain 8 halves. Remove the cores and any tough fibres – if you have a melon-baller it works best but a sharp teaspoon also works.
Place the pears into a heavy saucepan into which they fit quite snugly. Peel 4 thin strips off the lemon and add to the pears along with all of the juice from the lemon. Sprinkle on the caster sugar and the lightly crushed cardamom pods. Cover with parchment paper and a tight fitting lid and cook on a very low heat for about 30 minutes or until the pears are tender.
Drain the pears from the cooking juices and pat dry. Place in a single layer in a flat serving dish. These can be left in the fridge for a couple of days like this.
Melting the Chocolate
Once ready to use the pears, it is time to melt the chocolate. Place the chocolate in a small Pyrex bowl and sit the bowl over a saucepan of cold water, ensuring the water does not touch the bowl. Turn on the heat and as soon as the water comes to the boil, turn off the heat.
The chocolate will not be fully melted but will continue to melt perfectly in the residual heat. Do not allow the chocolate to get cold. Add the oil to the chocolate and mix well. This prevents the chocolate from seizing!
Decorating the pears!
Using a dessertspoon, drape chocolate to cover each pear either completely or partially. Straightaway sprinkle each pear with cocoa nibs, chopped pistachios and diced candied orange peel.
Put the pears to sit in a cool place or in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set slightly. The pears will sit happily like this for several hours.
Serve with softly whipped cream if you wish and enjoy!!!
PS – Do let me know if you make them!