Heaven forbid that I should take off for Easter and leave you with nothing but a creamy, leeky pork dish. Good it was. But it is hardly Easter-y. There is good reason for the lack of Easter-themed posting. As always, I am spending Easter at home on the Isle of Wight with my parents and family so it is my mother who is in charge of all things culinary. I would have loved to have baked and posted her delicious Simnel cake, but I'm not sure we would have managed to eat our way through both hers and mine!
Anyway, I couldn't leave you without something a little... chocolatey. I made these rather good pear and chocolate crisps on Wednesday night, when a friend came for dinner. Oh. You are wicked, I hear you thinking. But no. The good news is that these little chocolate treats have absolutely zero saturated fat. At least that is what Mary Cadogan tells me, via BBC Good Food. I'm perfectly happy to believe her.
These are a doddle to make. First you stick your spoon through a crispy, crackly layer of chocolate. Then you reach a gooey, almost souffle-like interior. And finally, a base of sticky pear. Want to take another look?
The chocolatey mixture looks most peculiar when you are mixing it together as there is no liquid. Don't let this worry you, do persevere. I actually found these too sweet (a miracle as I have the sweetest tooth known to man). I think that next time, I would cook the pear without any sugar. Or certainly half the amount, as per my version below.
You can find the original recipe for these here. My version is here. I wish you all a very Happy Easter!
Chocolate and Pear Crisp (BBC Good Food)
3 ripe pears
juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons water
light muscovado sugar to taste (1 heaped teaspoon-1 tablespoon)
50g icing sugar
1 tablespoon icing sugar
25g ground almonds
1 egg white (large egg)
1. Peel the pear and chop them into small pieces. Place in a small pan with the lemon juice and the water, plus the muscovado sugar. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 10 mins. Uncover and cook for a further 10 mins until the juices start to thicken.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa, then stir in the almonds. Whisk egg white until stiff and fold into dry ingredients. Fear not when it looks odd! Persevere!
3. Divide pear between four ramekins and spoon over some of the juices. Top with spoonfuls of the thick chocolate goo. There will be enough (provided you aren't using super-size ramekins). Give a quick shake to each ramekin so that the mixture evens out a little.
4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is firm to the touch. Serve with a little creme fraiche to cut the sweetness, if you like!