Chocolate and pear is a fairly classic combination. I've never been entirely convinced by the pairing myself. I'm a bit funny about chocolate with fruit in general. My only true exception is chocolate and orange which I adore but sadly my husband hates orange so it is a combination I don't get to enjoy all that often. He loves chocolate and pear though. His favourite pudding is something he calls 'chocolate pear upside down pudding'. I've tried to recreate this fondly-remembered childhood pud but sadly I find myself lacking. He always declares it 'very good', but 'not quite what my mother used to make'.
I'd decided to leave this well alone and move on but then I spotted an interesting sounding recipe in a newly acquired Aga cook book. The 'Aga Bible' by Amy Wilcock is an excellent tome for anyone new to Aga cooking (or for new ideas for those who've had one for years). It has plenty of advice and a good mix of classic and more imaginative recipes. This crumble is much like a regular crumble only the 'crumble' has the very welcome addition of cocoa powder and grated dark chocolate. The result was spectacularly good. I'd love to say that 'this is terribly rich so you'll only manage a small helping' but I'll tell you now that even though it was rather sweet and rich, I greedily devoured two helpings. Best served with vanilla ice cream or regular cream.
Chocolate and Pear Crumble
100g chilled butter, plus a little extra for greasing
6 ripe pears (I used Conference)
1 tsp ground ginger
80g plain flour
60g ground almonds
100g golden caster sugar
3tbsp cocoa powder
75g chilled dark chocolate
3. Using a food processor, whizz together flour, almonds, sugar and cocoa until blended. Cut chilled butter into small pieces and add to processor. Pulse until you have crumbly breadcrumb consistency.
4. Coarsely grate the chocolate into the processor and give another whizz. Pour/spread crumble mix over the pears.
Cook on 3rd set of runners in baking oven for 35-40 minutes.