Pear and Chocolate Puds

There’s something about pear and chocolate that just works but pears in general are, to my mind, an under used fruit.  Not that many people cook with them and those that do usually poach them, which can be delicious but that gorgeous crunchy texture is lost.  I bought a big bag of pears today and had to make pudding with them tonight.  I really should have waited a day or two for them to ripen but I was impatient.  It didn’t effect the taste of this pud but it was slightly troublesome cutting the pear apart with a teaspoon!  If you find yourself in a similar circumstance I suggest that you peel the pears, leaving the stalks on, or microwave them a little before inserting them into the cake mix. 

I try not to peel fruits and vegetables because the top layer just under the skin is supposed to contain the most nutrients and the fibre in the skins can’t be bad for you but sometimes this does affect the aesthetic of a dish.  Since this was just a regular family meal I decided to go for nutrition rather than aesthetics and left the skin on.   The pudding itself is lovely and chocolatey with a crisp top and deliciously goopy inside.  The honey drizzled on top complements both flavours marvelously. 

Pear and Chocolate Puds

Makes 4

75g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
2 eggs
25g cocoa powder
75g self raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 small ripe pears
4 tsp runny honey

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 and butter 4 ramekin dishes. 
– Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. 
– Beat in the eggs one at a time making sure the misture is well combined. 
– Beat in the cocoa powder. 
– Fold in the flour and baking powder and mix until fully combined. 
– Divide the mixture equally between the four ramekins. 
– With a melon baller remove the core of the pear by going in from the bottom and scooping out small balls until you have removed the seeds.  You could also do this with a paring knife and a teaspoon if careful. 
– Place the pear stalk up in the centre of the ramekin, pressing down gently into the cake mix. 
– Bake in the oven for 16-20 minutes.  Slightly longer if using less than ripe pears. 
– Drizzle with a teaspoon of honey and serve straight away putting the ramekins on plates as they will be hot.

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