Chocolate Tart w/ Rosé Poached Pears (Dessert)(Serves 6)
For the pastry:
150g plain flour, sieved
100g butter, chilled and diced
3 tsp icing sugar
4 tbsp ground almonds
1 large egg, beaten
Cold water (you may need a little to bind pastry)
For the pears:
2-4 pears, depending on size, peeled
300ml rosé wine
200g caster sugar
2 strips of orange peel
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
For the filling:
150g good quality chocolate (72% cocoa content)
100ml double cream
Large pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom (if using whole cardamom open 3 pods and grind the black seeds in a pestle and mortar.)
1 large egg, beaten
Icing sugar, to dust
Whipped cream, to serve
To prepare the pastry, place the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar and ground almonds.
Stir in the egg and add in cold water, if needed to make a soft dough. Roll in a ball, wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
To prepare the pears, place the rosé wine, water, sugar, orange peel, star anise and cinnamon stick into a saucepan and heat until boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes before adding the pears to poach for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on their size. They should be just about soft cooked but hold their shape nicely. Set aside to cool.
To bake the pastry, line the base of a loose base rectangular tart tin with parchment, brush the sides with plenty of butter. Dust a surface with flour and roll out the pastry to fit in the tart tin.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 165°C/ gas 5. Line the pastry with parchment and baking beans and bake for 16 to 18 minutes. Take the beans out and continue to bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes until lightly golden. Set aside.
To prepare the filling, place the chocolate, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom in a saucepan over a very low heat while stirring until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove quickly and keep stirring until the chocolate fully melts. Leave to cool slightly before adding the egg and whisking very well.
Pour into the pastry shell and bake in an oven at 160°C / fan 145°C/gas 4 for about 12 – 15 minutes or until it is set. Remove from the oven and cool.
To assemble, remove the tart from the tin, and place on a serving platter. Cut the pears in half and remove the core. Arrange the pear halves across the chocolate tart and dust the top with icing sugar.
Serve with a slightly sweetened whipped cream.