Pear, cho­co­late and cho­co­late-ganache loaf with pecanand-rose­mary brit­tle Serves 4

Country Life Every Week - - Kitchen Garden Cook Pears -

Method

Pre­heat your oven to 180˚C/350˚f/gas mark 4, grease a loaf tin and line the base with parch­ment pa­per. Com­bine the sugar, olive oil, egg and vanilla-bean paste in a stand mixer un­til light and aer­ated. In a sep­a­rate bowl, mix the flour and co­coa pow­der to­gether, then add it in batches to the bowl of the stand mixer, al­ter­nat­ing with the but­ter­milk, un­til both are all in­cor­po­rated, mak­ing sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour half the mix­ture into the pre­pared tin and ar­range the pears on top, be­fore adding the re­main­ing mix­ture and bak­ing for about 40 min­utes.

To make the brit­tle, pre­pare an oven tray with a sheet of bak­ing parch­ment, then scat­ter pecans and rose­mary all over it and toast them in the oven for five min­utes to bring out the flavour. Re­move the tray from the oven and scat­ter them with salt flakes and set aside, keep­ing the bak­ing parch­ment in place be­neath the pecans. Melt the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan with the splash of wa­ter, without stir­ring it, un­til you see the sugar turn an even ma­hogany colour. If you have a sugar ther­mome­ter, it should read 150˚C/300˚F, which is the hard-crack stage. Pour it all over the pecans (be very care­ful, as boil­ing sugar re­ally burns) and leave to cool. Once hard­ened, peel away the bak­ing parch­ment and break the brit­tle into shards with your hands or a sharp knife.

To make the ganache, break the cho­co­late into small pieces in a bowl, then heat the cream and sugar over a low heat and, just be­fore it boils, pour the mix­ture over the cho­co­late pieces. Leave it for a minute or two, then stir un­til the cho­co­late has fully melted into a de­li­ciously smooth, pourable ganache.

Ar­range the loaf on a serv­ing plate, pour the ganache over the top and, be­fore it sets, drop brit­tle shards over it and serve in slices, ac­com­pa­nied by a dol­lop of whipped cream.

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