Tuesday, 11 October 2011
This is my 200th post.
I had a pear, chocolate and hazelnut tart recipe stashed away for the occasion (well, actually, for the 2 year marker I totally missed in March) but when I actually tried it on Sunday it wasn't anything special. So instead of sharing that, I decided to delve back into my old notebooks and pull out an early recipe for pear and chocolate crumble. Maybe I should have gone for a showstopper (like the Butterfly Fleur de Sel Caramel Cake I made for my 100th), but this humble crumble (heh) is what I felt like eating.
Poires au Chocolat is named after a few recipes I created back in 2009 that gave me my first feelings of satisfaction while recipe testing. Though the cake was the real eureka moment, I love this crumble too. I have a necklace with a little gold pear pendant to remind me of that feeling and of where this whole dream came from.
The post I wrote for my first blog birthday was special. It was in that post that I first revealed to the world that I wanted to train as a pastry chef. 21 months later and here I stand as a student. I still can't quite believe that my dreams are coming true all around me.
I want to share my experience at culinary school with you all in some way. I can't share the recipes or go through explaining all the techniques so instead I've decided to keep a photo diary of everything I make on Instagram, the photo app. At the end of each practical session I'll snap a photo and upload it - my account is poiresauchocolat if you're on Instagram or I will be tweeting a link every time. The photos for my first two practicals and a few other shots are on there already. In this way I hope I can share my highs and lows with you all.
I like the progression of these photographs (to ruin the surprise) and the idea that a grayscale world turns colour after some rejuvenating pudding. Pudding has incredible powers of restoration. Tired? A steaming bowl of crumble will put you back on your feet. I ate mine with greek yogurt this time but proper custard is perfection.
Here's to 200 posts, my 186th recipe and following your heart! (Imagine you have a glass of champagne at this point. Chink!)
Pear and Chocolate Crumble
(crumble recipe adapted from Delia's Complete Cookery Course)
For the crumble:
75g plain flour
40g unsalted butter
30g soft brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
For the filling:
3 medium pears, slightly unripe and firm to touch
1 tsp maple syrup
sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
30g dark chocolate.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Sieve the flour into a bowl. Add the butter and rub in until you have fairly uniform crumbs. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Peel the pears and chop them into medium chunks. Place into a medium saucepan and just cover with cold water. Add the maple syrup and a dusting of the spices. Put over a medium heat and cook until the pears are just turning soft. Remove the pears to a small baking dish or tin (I used a loaf tin this time as I didn't have a dish). Keep the remaining water over the heat till it reduces to about 2/3 of its original depth.
Pour the syrup over the pears in the dish. Roughly chop the chocolate and stud the pears with the chunks. Stir any little pieces of chocolate into the crumble mix, then top the pears with it. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbling.