My favorite part of a full coarse meal is the dessert. If a restaurant fails at their dessert, then it fails as a whole. I mean, who doesn't love desserts? Do not trust anyone who doesn't; those are the real sociopaths. Lol. Just kidding. Anyway, this is the last dish I had served for The Simpler Living lunch event. Here's a snapshot.
A simple Poire Belle Hélène. I was wondering if I had done justice to the classic French dessert. I decided to research more online; actually I am looking for other ways to incorporate the poached pear. Then I stumbled upon Bruno Albouze's version. I was completely blown away and I immediately stormed into action.
I seriously wish I serve this for the lunch event instead. This tastes so much better; the warm pear with the molten warm chocolaty lava and the crunchy cacao nibs with hints of roses, herbs and spices just blew me away. You cannot unmold these lava cakes once they are baked tho. If you would like to serve on a serving plate as I did, you have to follow the directions below. Okay, enuff talking, let's get to the recipe.
Inspired by Bruno Albouze
Light Muscovado Sugar, 150g
Cinnamon Stick, 1
Star Anise, 2
Lemongrass White Part Only Lightly Bruised, 1
Spiced Rum, 2 TBSP
Fresh Orange Zest, 1 Orange
Ginger Grated, 1/2 Inch
Pears Preferably Bosc, 4
High Quality Dark Chocolate Preferably Valrhona, 75g
Unsalted Butter Softened, 56g
Demerara Sugar, 50g
Corn Flour, 25g
Sea Salt, Pinch
Edible Gold Dust, For Garnishing
Edible Rose Petals, For Garnishing
Fresh Mint, For Garnishing
Oven Proof Ramekins
Prepare the poached pears.
In a sauce pot over medium heat, add water, sugar, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, lemongrass, rum, orange zest and ginger.
Stir to combine well and until the sugar has dissolved. Stir, stir, stir.
Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 30 mins.
Remove from heat.
Peel the pears using a peeler.
Using a melon baller, carefully remove the bottom of the pears.
Using a small sharp knife to scrape out all the seeds carefully.
Place the pears immediately into the syrup or it will oxidize very quickly.
Fill the pot with more water, just enuff to submerge the pears and only if necessary.
Return the pot back onto the heat.
Cut out a round parchment paper to cover the pears and the syrup.
This will ensure even coloring of the pears.
Bring it up to a simmer and turn the heat down to low.
Cover and poach the pears for 20 to 30 mins.
Remove from heat and let chill in the fridge overnight, with the parchment paper still in tact.
Prepare the lava cakes.
Preheat oven to 230 degree celsius or 450 fahrenheit.
On a double boiler, add chocolate.
Once chocolate starts to melt, remove from heat and add butter.
Stir until well combined and the butter has melted as well.
In another bowl, add egg and sugar.
Whisk to combine well.
Gradually add the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture 1/3 portion at a time.
Whisk until everything is fully incorporated.
Sieve in the corn flour.
Whisk until well combined.
Add in salt, cacao nibs and 2 TBSP of that syrup.
*You can make excellent tea with the syrup.*
Give it a final whisk.
Add the chocolate batter into the ramekins.
*These lava cakes will not be able to unmold. If you would like to serve these on a serving plate, lightly grease a pastry ring with some butter and wrap the inner circumference with parchment paper. Place the pastry ring on the serving plate and pour the batter into the ring.*
Pour about 3/4 way full.
Wack into the oven and bake for 8 mins.
The edge should be hard while the middle is still soft and jiggly.
Drain pears from the syrup.
Place 1 pear into each ramekins or pastry rings.
It is okay if there're cracks. That is the beauty of this dish.
Wack back into the oven and bake for a further 5 mins.
Remove from oven.
Garnish with some rose petals and mint on the sides
Sprinkle some gold dust over the top.