Chocolate Almond Pear Pots

Now, we don’t want you to think that we are anti-fruit. FINAP loves getting its 5 a day! We also think fruit does have a place in pudding, just so long as it’s not on it’s own – so this got us thinking – at what point does fruit become a pudding? Is it when you cook it? Is it when you add cream?

FINAP thinks fruit becomes a pudding when you add some imagination. And by imagination we of course mean chocolate and wine – the most inspirational of foodstuffs :)

These indulgent little pots are a riff on a classic frangipane tart. I took out the pastry part and added a chocolate part. These easily become dairy-free too by substituting the butter for your preferred dairy-free margarine. We had lots of leftover mulled wine syrup from Christmas, so I used it to make Jamie Oliver’s mulled wine sorbet as an accompaniment to cut through all of those rich flavours as well as poaching some pears for later!

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 120g ground almonds (you could also use hazlenuts)
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly whisked
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 120g butter, softened
  • 180g dark chocolate*
  • 2 ripe pears (see endnote)

*if you are cooking for a coeliac, please make sure the chocolate you use does not contain gluten or have a ‘may contain’ statement on the packet.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°c. Lightly butter 4 ramekins.
  2. Break the chocolate into pieces and set in a bowl over a simmering pan of water to melt
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the almonds, eggs, butter and sugar
  4. Peel, core and slice the pears. I like to use a melon-baller to core the pears so you don’t waste too much fruit.
  5. When the chocolate is melted, stir it into the almond mix.
  6. Divide the mix between the ramekins so that they are about half full, and press the pear slices into the top in a fan-shape.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. until they are set on top.
  8. Leave to cool a little before dusting with caster sugar and serving with a dollop of creme fraiche, ice cream or a scoop of mulled wine sorbet.

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If your pears are a little under-ripe, why not poach them gently in mulled wine syrup beforehand? Just warm some wine with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla; and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes. Leave to cool before slicing and serving. Any leftovers will be gorgeous with some blue cheese in a salad; or on their own with icecream for a pud.

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