Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Chocolate and pear tart

I made this tart for dessert on Valentine's day. I love the combination of pears and chocolate and the tart was delicious!! Very chocolatey and the pear was giving it just the exact freshness that it needed! Very nice and balanced flavour. But thanks to my clumsiness the half of it fell on the floor. :( Thank God it was not the whole of it but still... So, despite the accident I suggest everyone to try this tart, it's heavenly!!

Chocolate and pear tart

Recipe adapted from here

For the tart shell:

125 g (½ cup and 1 tablespoon) butter
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
280 g (2 cups) flour

For the chocolate filling:

260 g dark chocolate
250 ml (1 ¼ cup) double cream
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon rum (optional)

For the pears:

5 pears
200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla extract (optional)

In a bowl, stir the baking powder, salt and flour together.Place the butter in pieces and the icing sugar in a mixer bowl and beat with the wire whip attachment until it softens. Add the vanilla and the egg and beat until combined. Change to dough hook attachment and add the flour mixture. Beat for a while and then stop the mixer and form a dough ball with your hands. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 30- 60 minutes.
Grease and flour a 26 cm (approximately 10 inches) tart tin. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it into a circle on a floured surface. Fold it in quarters place in the middle of the pan and unfold it. This is an easy way to transfer your tart dough. Press it in the corners and trim the excess dough (I made hearts with it). Pinch all over it with a fork and place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 200°C/ 400° F.

Meanwhile prepare the pears. Peel, halve and core the pears,put them in a saucepan, add the sugar, cinnamon,vanilla, lemon juice and water until they are covered. Put in medium heat and let them boil until they are soft if you pinch them with a fork. It took a few minutes for my pears. Remove from heat and let them cool. When they are cool drain the water and cut the pears crosswise without letting them lose their shape.
Bake your chilled tart shell in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes. It would help if you put some kind of weight on it for the first 10 minutes so that it doesn't rise. I put some parchment paper and some rice on it that I use in all my tarts, and keep in a vase.
After the 15 minutes remove from the oven and let cool until you prepare the chocolate filling.
To prepare the chocolate filling, chop the chocolate and put it in a medium bowl along with the brown sugar. Heat the cream in a small saucepan. Just before it comes to boil, remove from heat and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it stay for 2-3 minutes so that the chocolate will melt and then stir with a rubber spatula round and round until it all becomes a glossy chocolate mixture. Add the butter, rum if using and the egg and stir again.
Place the slices of the 4 halves of the pears all over the bottom of the tart and pour the chocolate mixture over it. Now, transfer the rest of the pear halves on the top of the chocolate mixture one next to the other without letting them lose their shapes. If you want you can sprinkle some brown sugar on the pears so that it caramelises. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chocolate has set. Let it cool and chill in the fridge. You can serve as it is or with whipped cream. I served it with some leftover ganache from the champagne macarons.

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