(This article appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
I love this dessert because I’ve always wanted to do a chocolate pear dessert. Chocolate is so intense that sometimes when you pair it with something else, it takes over the other flavors. This one is the right balance, in my opinion. It’s light, yet decadent. Note: it’s very important to use ripe pears for the puree to make the cremeux.
Yield: 30 servings
Chocolate Tart Dough (6 half sheet pans)
- 1116 g all-purpose flour
- 590 g confectioners’ sugar
- 180 g cocoa powder
- 11 g salt
- 688 g unsalted butter
- 6 whole eggs
- Sift together the flour, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt and whisk gently to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter, then add the dry ingredients at low speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until dough forms.
- Spray parchment sheet-lined sheet pans with cooking spray. Roll dough very thinly and place on tray. Dock with fork and freeze.
- Bake frozen at 325˚F with low fan for about 15 minutes.
- 450 g whole milk
- 450 g heavy cream
- 225 g granulated sugar
- 225 g egg yolks
- 3 ½ gelatin sheets, bloomed
- 200 g Valrhona Jivara milk chocolate
- 254 g dark chocolate 70%
- 25 g cocoa powder
- In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream and sugar, stirring just to dissolve the sugar. Whisk the yolks to blend, then temper them into the milk mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 180˚F (82˚C) – anglaise stage.
- Add bloomed and drained gelatin to hot anglaise, and stir to dissolve. Pour mixture through a sieve over chocolate and cocoa powder and mix with immersion blender until emulsified. Pass through a sieve again. Pour into baked chocolate tart dough in a half sheet pan. Refrigerate until set.
- 60 pears
- 1500 g granulated sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 liters water
- Remove core from pears and chop.
- Combine chopped pears, sugar, lemon juice and water in a pot and place on heat. Simmer until pears are tender.
- Puree mixture and strain through a chinois.
- 400 g half-and-half
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 16 g gelatin sheets, bloomed
- 866 g pear puree
- Citric acid, to taste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- In a saucepan, heat the half-and-half and sugar together, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Add the bloomed and drained gelatin and the pear puree, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. Stir in the citric acid, vanilla extract and lemon zest and juice. Pass through a chinois and pour over the set Chocolate Custard.
Gingerbread Ice Cream
- 1.9 liters heavy cream
- 1.9 liters whole milk
- 907 g granulated sugar
- 340 g molasses
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
- 28 g peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1 nutmeg, grated on microplane
- 2 tsp salt
- 907 g egg yolks
- 227 g trimoline
- In a pot, heat together cream, milk, sugar, molasses and spices, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and trimoline, then temper yolks into hot cream mixture and cook to 180˚F (82˚C) – anglaise stage. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and chill.
- Process in ice cream machine.
- 3 liters water
- 600 g granulated sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 6 pears, sliced lengthwise
- Combine water, sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring just to dissolve sugar.
- Place pear slices in a hotel pan and pour the boiling syrup over them. Remove pears from syrup and transfer to lined sheet pan.
- Bake at 200˚F (93˚C) with low fan for 90 minutes.
- Remove from oven and curl each chip over a spoon.
- Julienne of fresh pear
- Micro flowers
- Freeze torte before cutting. Cut 10 cm x 3 cm slices of torte.
- Place torte slice on one side of the plate. Place a mound of streusel on the other side and place a quenelle of Gingerbread Ice Cream on top.
- Garnish torte with Pear Chips, pear julienne and micro flowers.