One of my instructors at culinary school had a favourite expression that has stuck with me over the past couple of years – “keep it simple stupid.” Although I don’t always heed this advice, when I do, things tend to turn out better than if I had added 200 ingredients to them. Take this Dolfin chocolate sauce for example, I knew I had to take the quote to heart in order to truly showcase the chocolate at its best. Because the chocolate is so unique to begin with, I wanted to sculpt the recipe around its flavours, rather than simply making a recipe and adding chocolate to it. After all, what goes better with pears and almonds than more pears and almonds? Have you ever had a chocolate bar with pear in it? Neither had I until trying Dolfin’s pear and grilled almond bar. Floral fruit, floral chocolate – it works.
I decided to bring everything together by building on the flavours that were already there. I started by poaching pears, upping the anti by having them bath in a chocolately, cocoa syrup. As for the chocolate sauce itself, 2 ingredients; Dolfin pear and grilled almond dark chocolate and whipping cream. Then I topped everything with candied almonds, not only to mimic the almonds in the chocolate, but also to add some necessary texture. See, dessert does not have to be complicated to be good.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo da Vinci
- 4 pears, peeled and cored
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups agave syrup
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ cup slivered, blanched almonds
- 1 bar Dolfin pear and grilled almond chocolate (70g)
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- To poach the pears, bring the water, agave and almond extra to a boil. Remove it from the heat and gradually whisk in the cocoa powder. Then add the pears and cook over low heat for about 1 hour, or until the pears are tender.
- Meanwhile, you can make the candied almonds by heating up ¼ cup of white sugar with a splash of water. Bring it to a boil. When the bubbles get bigger and it starts to thicken, stir in the almonds. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the almonds separate, becoming sandy and dry. Put them in a separate bowl and let cool.
- To make the Dolfin chocolate sauce, bring the whipping cream to a bowl, either in a pot or in the microwave. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate to melt it and stir to combine.
- When the pears are ready, allow them to cool slightly before plating, garnished with the Dolfin chocolate sauce and candied almonds. You can also poach the pears ahead of time, allow them to cool in the syrup and then refrigerate them in their poaching liquid. In that case you can either serve them chilled or at room temperature, or reheat them.