Poached pears, chocolate, and lightly toasted hazelnuts – all in one glorious recipe. This gluten free tart is perfect for Christmas.
It’s an adaptation of one of the Bee Shack Café desserts we used to make. Poaching the pears in mulled wine adds just the right amount of Christmas razzamatazz to this classic.
25g/1oz butter, plus extra, melted, for brushing
150g/5½ oz hazelnuts, toasted and ground
25g/1oz light brown sugar
100g/3½ oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp almond oil (or rapeseed oil)
2 large pears (about 200g/7 oz), peeled, cored and each cut lengthways into 6 pieces
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 mulling spice bag
Chocolate mousse filling
60g/2¼ oz milk chocolate, chopped
60g/2¼ oz dark chocolate, chopped
50g/1¾ oz butter
100g/3½ oz rice syrup
85g/3oz crème fraiche
40g/1½ oz hazelnuts, ground
Pinch of salt
25g/1oz whole hazelnuts, toasted
Brush a 23cm / 9 in round loose bottomed tart tin with melted butter and line with baking parchment.
To make the pastry, whiz the butter, hazelnuts, sugar and salt together in a food processor until soft and clumpy. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 150°C / 300°F / Gas 2.
Press the pastry into the tin using the back of a metal spoon and smooth it down, almost like a biscuit base. Prick all over with a fork and bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until golden and firm. Take care not to over bake or it will crumble. Set aside to cool and turn the oven off.
Melt the dark chocolate with the almond oil in a heat proof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth (or in a microwave). Stir well and spread over the cooked, cooled pastry base. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F/ Gas 4.
For the poached pears, put the pear pieces into a saucepan with the sugar, mulling spice bag and 3 tbsp water. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until they are soft and cooked but still keep their shape. The syrup should have reduced to coat the pears; there should be no excess liquid in the pan. Set aside to cool.
For the filling, melt the milk chocolate, dark chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth (or in a microwave). Set aside. Crack the eggs into a bowl, then add the rice syrup, crème fraiche, hazelnuts and a pinch of salt. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy.
Arrange the pears onto the chocolate-coated pastry. Pour the chocolate moose filling over the pears to fill the case to the top. Sprinkle the whole toasted hazelnuts on the top. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes until the filling has just set. Take care not to over bake – the filling should still be slightly wobbly.