Perfect match: baked chocolate cream and tokay


You'll need

170 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped 230 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 80 ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream 2 eggs, lightly beaten 60 gm caster sugar 15 gm (2 tbsp) crystallised ginger, finely chopped To serve: crème fraîche   Ginger-poached pears 500 gm caster sugar 250 ml Stone’s green ginger wine 4 ripe corella pears, halved, cores removed with a melon baller

Method

  • 01
  • For ginger-poached pears, combine sugar, wine and 750ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to very low, add pears, cover closely with baking paper and turn occasionally until tender and translucent (1-1½ hours). Cool in syrup and reserve.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Combine 120gm butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth (3-5 minutes), remove from heat and cool slightly. Whisk cream, eggs and 20gm caster sugar in a separate bowl until just combined, stir in chocolate mixture, then add crystallised ginger. Pour mixture into four 150ml-capacity ovenproof dishes and bake until just set with a slight wobble in centre (10-12 minutes). Cool to room temperature.
  • 03
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, scatter remaining sugar in an even layer in base of pan and cook until starting to caramelise (3-4 minutes). Carefully add pears, cut-side down, and cook until golden (5-6 minutes). Add remaining butter and cook until melted (3-5 minutes). Remove pears with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add 80ml poaching liquid to pan, stir to combine and simmer over medium heat until syrupy (3-5 minutes). Cool to room temperature. Serve baked chocolate cream with pears, caramel and crème fraîche.

Note This dessert is great served at room temperature, when it has a really fudgy texture. However, it's also good warm.


Chocolate desserts need really sweet, intensely flavoured wines that are able to cut through the tongue-coating qualities and bitterness of cocoa. Dense, molasses-like fortified sweet wines such as Pedro Ximénez and Australian tokay are perfect: they have just the right strength, weight and concentration. As any sweet tooth will tell you, too, chocolate goes wonderfully well with raisins, which is pretty much what the ultra-ripe pedro or tokay grapes look like before they're harvested. I have also discovered, after years of research, that tokay has a particular affinity for cooked pears. Unlike muscat, which can be almost raisin-like in its fruit sweetness, tokay wines tend to have a little more of a savoury edge that complements the graininess you find in the texture of pear. Incidentally, as a result of a trade agreement with Europe, Australian winemakers have agreed to stop using the name "tokay" and have dreamt up a very similar alternative: expect to see bottles of "topaque" appearing on your wine shop shelf during the next few years.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Apr 2009

You might also like...

Nectarine and elderflower granita

recipes

Prawn and chive vol-au-vents

Moroccan braised lamb neck

recipes

Burmese duck leg and potato curry

Wine-braised veal shoulder with Gorgonzola polenta

recipes

Venetian calf’s liver and onions

Slow-roasted veal breast stuffed with sausage

recipes

conversion tool