Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baked chocolate creams and ginger pears

Faintly blushing, a corella pear lineup

There has been a glut of corella pears at the supermaket lately.  These pears are smaller and prettier than the regular beurre bosc, William or Packham pear, and they have a reddish yellow tinge that indicates when they are perfect to eat.  The pears I've used here are a bit larger than some corellas - have you seen the dessert ones that are the size of a golf ball?

An online search for 'corella pears' unearthed this recipe from Gourmet Traveller.  They recommend serving the dessert with tokay (or 'topaque' as it's now known in Australia) or similar dessert wine.  I'll tell you one thing, though: you do need something giga-dense to counteract the super-sweetness of the pears and the mega-richness of the chocolate cream!

Baked chocolate cream with ginger-poached pears
serves 4

170 g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
230 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
80 ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
60 g caster sugar
15 g (2 tbsp) crystallised ginger, finely chopped

Ginger-poached pears
500 g caster sugar
250 ml Stone’s green ginger wine or ginger beer
4 ripe corella pears, halved, cores removed with a melon baller

1.  For ginger-poached pears, combine sugar, wine and 750ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to very low, add pears, cover closely with baking paper and turn occasionally until tender and translucent (1-1½ hours). Cool in syrup and reserve.

2.  For chocolate creams, preheat oven to 180C. Combine 120g butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth (3-5 minutes), remove from heat and cool slightly. Whisk cream, eggs and 20g caster sugar in a separate bowl until just combined, stir in chocolate mixture, then add crystallised ginger. Pour mixture into four 150ml-capacity ovenproof dishes and bake until just set with a slight wobble in the centre (10-12 minutes). Cool to room temperature.

3.  For the ginger caramel syrup: heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and scatter remaining sugar in an even layer in the base of the pan and cook until starting to caramelise (3-4 minutes). Carefully add pears, cut-side down, and cook until golden (5-6 minutes). Add remaining butter and cook until melted (3-5 minutes). Remove pears with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add 80ml poaching liquid to pan, stir to combine and simmer over medium heat until syrupy (3-5 minutes). Cool to room temperature.

4.  Serve baked chocolate cream with pears and caramel syrup.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller

Ingredients, including sugar, eggs, cream, pears, butter, dark chocolate, crystallised ginger and lashings of ginger beer.

Above: Yes, that is a quite a lot of chocolate and butter being melted together; the corella pears are cored using a melon baller; after baking, the chocolate creams resemble unrisen souffles; the pears are cooked in caramel syrup

On their own, the pears are sweet, with a crunchy crust. Together with the chocolate cream, they are a combination of refreshing softness (pears) and rich gooeyness (chocolate)

A final shot of the chocolate cream - it's dark, it's rich, and I may have overcooked it a bit, but it's all mine...


  1. Simple fruity desserts like this are the best, but what I'm really craving is that ginger caramel syrup!

  2. mmm this recipe looks lovely!! must try it out!

  3. Oh how decadent! Sounds like an awesome dessert for this kinda weather, perfect comfort food =)

  4. Wow! Look at those pears! Soft delicious pears with crunchy toffee. Absolutely stunning Bel! Perfect winter treat *drools*

  5. Looks so pretty! I love thos sunset colours on corella pears. So much more attractive than beurre bosc which my dad calls "rusted pears".. Chocolate, pear and ginger sounds like a spicy, rich flavour combination! Yum!

  6. You have inspired me to poached pears this weekend... fingers cross!

  7. That looks so amazing Belle! I want to eat it! You should come to Marrickville Markets one Sunday and go the The Farmgate Stand and get some of their pears. Absolutely beautiful!

  8. OH baby, I want some for myself too! Must try this soon

  9. I love poached pears, served with a chocolate cream the contrasting flavors must be amazing!!! Those pears are beautiful, the coloring just perfect!

  10. Yum! This month's issue of GT is to die for, isn't it!

  11. Ooh, I want some corella pears-they're so pretty. The idea of a tiny, red pear has so much culinary promise too! And I can see that with this dessert. Wonderful, Bel! The pear and chocolate cream sound like a special combination. I want to try it...

  12. LOL, I didn't realise you made this recently as well! :D I was drawn to the chocolate creams because it was the easiest (and laziest hehe) recipe but omg, isn't it the most intense dessert? It actually gave me a headache!

    I didn't make mine with the pears cos I was scared that they were too much with the chocolate. What did you think?

  13. chocolate and butter- my two fav ingredients! This looks too yum. It ain't unhealthy considering it has pears right? LOL

  14. I love the combination of chocolate and pear! What a lovely dessert :)

  15. the chocolate cream may be overcooked but it looks adsolutely delicious none the less. I could do with that and a scoop of ice cream

  16. I thought I was in love with the shot of the wrinkly pairs bubbling away, but then my heart was taken by the chocolate cream.

    Giga-dense? I need to use this term.

  17. OMG I would like to lick my screen please. That last photo is to die for!

  18. What a fabulous dessert. I love chocolate and pears, but with the ginger thrown in? Delicious!

  19. look nice, simple and lovely!