A sophisticated dessert that can be prepared well in advance, the combination of chocolate and blue cheese in this Dutch recipe promises to be a conversation piece at any dinner party. Use leftover syrup to drizzle over ice-cream or pancakes.
- 6 firm pears
- 1 litre (4 cups) sweet white wine
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 sprig rosemary
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 80 g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), chopped
- 120 ml double cream
- 25 g Gorgonzola dolce (see Note)
- whipped cream or ice-cream to serve (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Peel and core the pears, leaving stems intact. In a large saucepan that that will accommodate pears snugly, combine the wine, sugar, rosemary and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Add the pears. Cover the surface of the liquid with a piece of baking paper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20–25 minutes until the pears are tender but still holding their shape. Remove from the saucepan and allow to cool.
Strain the cooking liquid and return 500 ml (2 cups) to the saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes until reduced to a syrup. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, combine chocolate, cream and blue cheese in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of gently simmering water for 2–3 minutes until the chocolate melts. Stir well to combine. Allow to cool slightly.
Dip the bottom of each pear in the chocolate mixture and place on a serving plate. Drizzle with the reserved syrup and serve with whipped cream or ice-cream, if using.
• Gorgonzola dolce is a sweeter-style blue cheese available from cheese shops, European delicatessens and some supermarkets.
Photography by Alan Benson