So Mimi is back in town and she is all of 21 months. Wow! Does time fly fast! (*sniffles*). I have missed her so much during my trip to London and with it I missed celebrating her 20th month birthday. I had to make up for it somehow. I had to ensure it was doubly special. I decided to do a special dinner with a stunning dessert to finish. I also invited Mimi’s favourite person to partake in the celebration – Namit, though she failed to recognize him after the hiatus of 3 months.
Mimi is a baby of simple tastes nevertheless a great one. I know, for dinner she would prefer her regular fare but dessert she would enjoy if it had chocolate in it. I decided to do a Chocolate & Pear tart in the honour of Mimi’s 21st month birthday.
In my recent visit to India I picked up a book which was solely based on chocolate treats. It was available on sale and I had to buy it. It is titled, no prizes for guessing there – CHOCOLATE. It’s a book published by UK-based publishers and has hordes of chocolate based recipes – desserts only. It’s a fat little book with jaw dropping pictures. That was how I was lured into baking one of the tarts presented in the book. Incidently, Pear is Mimi’s favourite fruit so a chocolate and pear tart sounded perfect.
Originally, the recipe serves 8 but I had a small pan so had to pack the remaining ingredients in the freezer for future use. I am giving out the original recipe with the original measure of ingredients.
The Recipe for Chocolate Pear Tart
For the Pastry
115 g/4 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
115 g/4 oz unsalted butter( not too room temperature-ish nor too cold)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the Topping
115 g/4 oz plain chocolate, grated
4 pears ( thought I used only 3)
125 ml/4 fl oz single cream
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp almond essence ( I used vanilla)
3 tbsp castor sugar
1. To make the pastry, sift the flour and add a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Add sugar and butter and mix well using a fork, until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the egg yolk and lemon juice to form dough. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Roll out the dough on the floured surface and use it to line a 25 cm/ 10 inch loose bottomed flan tin.
3. Sprinkle grated chocolate over the base of the pastry case.
4. Peel the pears, cut them half lengthways and remove the cores. Thinly slice each pear-half crossways and fan out the slices. Scoop up each pear half with a spatula and arrange in a pastry case.
5. Beat the cream+egg+extra yolk+almond essence together and spoon the mixture over the pears. Sprinkle the sugar over the tart.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180 C/350 F/ Gas Mark 4 and bake further for 20 minutes, until the pears start to caramelize and the filling is just set. Leave it to cool. ( I served it chilled)
To begin with, its sounds all complicated with the pastry case making and the placing of the pears in the case, but it really is a piece of cake…errr tart.
The chocolate and the cream mixture blend beautifully and the pears taste caramelized yet soft. Whats surprising was that, the flavour of the pear was intact inspite of the chocolate!
Everybody enjoyed their dessert including Mimi,who had it the next day (:-))
After the sumptuous dinner, we drove to the cinema for the Kung – fu Panda -2 show. This would be Mimi’s second trip to the movies in a movie hall, the first being the fantastic animation movie ” Tangled”.
Mims was thrilled to bits and kept jumping up and down the seat each time Po was in action. She kept pointing out at Po and kept calling him “teddy”. We were secretly happy that she sat through the movie without any major drama ensuing, wanting to run up and down the hall ramp. She was fast asleep before the movie ended.
It was a day and evening well spent. Happy Birthday Mimi.