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Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chocolate and almond pear pastries

Pears with dark chocolate and almond surprise pastries (minus the caramel)

I have missed this last month's SABH.  Boo hoo.  Although I have made these simple desserts just for that hop. But no matter, as I'm sharing this easy peasy dessert anyway.

No excuse.  I've been on monkey mind mode for weeks now and have been busy with the extra guests we have at home.  The grandparents are here, that's why.  My parents were granted a 3-month multiple entry visa hence the unplanned visit.  As it is with visa applications from the Philippines, it takes ages to get especially as my folks are over the age of 70.  And while they are staying with us, I'm taking advantage of the adult conversations and extra help around the home.  They have grown older though.  It's hard to imagine our own parents being old.  To me they have always been the people who are always moving about - walking, gardening, buzzing buzzing every minute.  Two years away and my mum has changed.  She prefers staying home now, reading, no longer interested in gardening and when we go for walks the steps are slow and the walks longer.  

My dad on the other hand is still the keen cook that he is, taking after my grandmother.  I love our dynamics in the kitchen.  While he's cooking, I take a peek and taste and add some salt or pepper or other seasonings.  And the same when I'm cooking, he peers and adds his own dash of whatever. 

Pear with dark chocolate and almond surprise pastries with caramel glaze

Dark chocolate bits and almond slivers peeking...

To make these easy sweet dessert:


2 pears, peeled, halved and cored

375ml Sangiovese verjuice

 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/2 cup caster sugar

60ml water


Peel and half the pears.  Using a melon baller, core the pear and place in a saucepan with the verjuice.

Cover with a cartouche* and bring to a boil, then simmer until tender- about 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the pears from the poaching liquid onto a plate and cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 180*C and line baking tray with baking paper.

Take the puff pastry sheet and cut into 4 squares.

Place a pear half cut-side down onto a pastry square and using a small sharp knife, cut around the shape of the pear, leaving a 1-2cm border.  Repeat with the remaining pear halves and pastry.

Using a metal spatula, lift the pear from the pastry and cover the area of pastry with dark chocolate chips and toasted almond slivers then cover with the pear. Repeat with the remaining pears, chocolate chips and almonds.

Place the pastries on the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.  

Place onto a wire rack. 

In a small sauce pan, combine the caster sugar and water and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved.  Increase heat to medium and let the mixture bowl until the syrup turns golden.

Remove from heat and using a teaspoon, drizzle over the pears.

Leave to cool slightly.


* A cartouche is covering used to keep the moisture within the poaching liquid.  To make, use a baking paper fold into quarters, cut off the middle point to create a hold in the middle, then cut off the sides to fit the pan/pot. 

* Can be served with thickened cream.

* You can serve withou the caramel and it works just fine.

This sweet dessert is which did not make its way to last month's SABH was a surprise afternoon tea one weekend.  It is adapted from an old Coles instore mag with my own twists.  I poached the pears with Maggie Beer's Sangiovese verjuice instead of the usual water-sugar-cinnamon mix because I love its natural sweetness.  This is easy because all you need is store-bought puff pastry and bake away. 

I love having guests at home.  It breaks our routine and the extra hand/s is always welcome.  Plus it means extra taste testers for dishes I want to try which the girls would otherwise not.  Longer walks and more cooking at home and I'm grateful that both my parents are in a clean bill of health.  In their own little way and in more ways than one, they are an inspiration.  


  1. These are such a cute treat and would be perfect for a dinner party!

  2. Wow!I never tried Almond Pear before. After I saw the images of this recipe, it makes me feel starving..lol

  3. Hi! Im a newbie in baking. I have a small electric oven but I do not know what heat should I use, if the heat from top, bottom or both?

    1. Thank you for dropping by Marithea. Use both to and bottom, and my best bet is to buy an oven thermometer which you can clip while baking. It helps when preheating the oven and while baking. xx

  4. Gorgeous combo :) love the addition of the sangiovese!

    1. Thank you Nic! I love sangiovese verjuice!



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