TAKES 1 HR 45 MINS, PLUS COOLING SERVES 12
FOR THE POACHED PEARS
- 4-6 large unripe pears, peeled
- 75cl bottle red wine
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
FOR THE CAKE
- 150g dark chocolate, plus 25g, melted
- 50g creme fraiche
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
- 120g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 80g ground almonds
- 40g plain flour
- 1tbspcocoa powder
- 1tbsp baking powder
YOU WILL NEED
- Large loaf tin, about 28-30cm, greased and lined with a good overlap of baking paper on all sides
1 Put the pears into a small saucepan where they fit snugly, upright. Add the wine, sugar and cinnamon. Cook gently until the sugar has dissolved, then cover with a small plate to keep them submerged. Simmer for 30 mins or until just tender. Remove the pears and allow to cool. Trim the bases so they’re flat and can stand up.
2 Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4. Put 150g chocolate and creme fraiche in a heatproof bowl and melt over simmering water. Whisk the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well between each addition. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
3 Fold the dry ingredients into the cake mix, put into the tin, then insert the pears in the centre in a straight line. Bake for 1 hr, covering after 30 mins, then leave to cool on a wire rack for 30 mins. Drizzle over the 25g melted chocolate.
TAKES 25 MINS, PLUS CHILLING MAKES 20
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 50g stem ginger, grated
- 75g treacle
- 240g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1 egg
FOR THE DECORATION
- 250g dark chocolate, melted
- 100g milk chocolate, melted
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. In a large bowl beat together all the ingredients with a pinch of salt until a dough forms.
2 Roll into 20 balls; arrange on a baking tray. Chill for 10 mins.
3 Bake for 15 mins, until the biscuits are cooked through. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
4 When cool, dip into the dark chocolate and leave to set. Once the chocolate is set, drizzle with the milk chocolate and leave to set again.
LEMON AND THYME BAKED RICE PUDDING
TAKES 2 HRS SERVES 6
- 1 vanilla bean
- 800ml whole milk
- 800ml single cream
- Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 50g caster sugar
- 200g short-grain pudding rice
- 50g unsalted butter
1 Preheat the oven to 140C/Gas 1. Split the vanilla bean in half, scraping out the seeds. Add the seeds and pod to a pan with the milk, cream, zest and thyme. Gently bring the mixture to a simmer, then stir in the caster sugar and rice.
2 Transfer the mixture to a shallow ovenproof dish, then roughly dice the butter and dot over the top.
3 Bake for 30 mins, remove from the oven and stir well, then cook for 1 hr until the pudding is soft, creamy and has developed a golden skin on top.
BANANA CARAMEL PEANUT PUDDING
TAKES 50 MINS SERVES 8
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