dessert – The Culinary Chase http://theculinarychase.com support local Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:47:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 panna cotta with raspberry jelly http://theculinarychase.com/2017/07/panna-cotta-with-raspberry-jelly/ http://theculinarychase.com/2017/07/panna-cotta-with-raspberry-jelly/#comments Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:11:24 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=13710 Traditionally, panna cotta, is served on a plate by unmolding a ramekin.  If this is your first time making this Italian dessert, my recipe elimates the unmolding.  I remember the first time I made this and the mold, for some reason, did not set all the way through.  Perhaps the gelatin didn’t dissolve completely.  Get […]

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panna cotta with jellyTraditionally, panna cotta, is served on a plate by unmolding a ramekin.  If this is your first time making this Italian dessert, my recipe elimates the unmolding.  I remember the first time I made this and the mold, for some reason, did not set all the way through.  Perhaps the gelatin didn’t dissolve completely.  Get creative and use any glass you like, even tea cups!  This dessert is light enough to serve after a heavy meal and making it ahead allows for more time with your friends and family.

Serves 4 to 6 (depending on size of container)
2 1/2 cups cream or half and half
2 teaspoons gelatin
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon cointreau (or vanilla)
raspberry jello or other favourite jello

For the panna cotta –
Soften gelatin by sprinkling into 1/2 cup of cream. Heat the other 2 cups of cream and sugar (do not boil).   Gently stir cream to help dissolve sugar.  When sugar has dissolved, add cream with gelatin and stir to combine then  remove pot from heat. When cream has cooled down, add cointreau and stir. Pour into dessert containers and refrigerate until set (usually 2 to 3 hours).

While the panna cotta is setting, prepare jello by following packet instructions. Allow this to cool but not set. Pour onto the top of the panna cotta and place in fridge until jelly has set. Alternatively, you can make your own jelly by mixing 2 teaspoons of gelatin into 2 cups of hot fruit juice (allow to cool).  Then follow the instructions above.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Place a raspberry in the middle of the panna cotta and pour jello over and let set in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

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double chocolate chip parfait – how to use a failed recipe http://theculinarychase.com/2017/04/chocolate-chip-parfait-how-to-use-a-failed-recipe/ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:34:33 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=13542 It happens.  Cooks of all levels have experienced a failed recipe at least once, maybe more.  The thing is, a failed recipe has room for improvement and making it into something better the next time around.  That’s how we discover things, through trial and error.  I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies.  Like most […]

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double chocolate chip parfaitIt happens.  Cooks of all levels have experienced a failed recipe at least once, maybe more.  The thing is, a failed recipe has room for improvement and making it into something better the next time around.  That’s how we discover things, through trial and error.  I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies.  Like most cooks, everyone has their favourite recipe.  However, the one on the back of the package changed my mind.  The addition of cocoa powder made these cookies extra chocolatey (yum).   So I proceeded to follow the instructions and then it happened.  The cookie dough oozed into each other to make one massive dark blob.  How to salvage a chocolate chip recipe?

The cookie actually tasted delicious but it was more along the lines of a brownie.  The second batch I would be smart and reduce the size of the dough; same result only thinner.  Ugh!  This left me scratching my head as to what I did incorrectly and came up with two possibilities; I used too much butter or the recipe was wrong.  Since I am not going through this again, I am blaming the recipe (tee hee).   I didn’t throw out the brownie/cookie mess instead I made a parfait.

homemade chocolate chip cookies, crumbled
whipped cream

Layer dessert dishes with whipped cream and crumbled cookies. Serve immediately or place in refrigerator until ready to use.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Top off with orange zest.  Enjoy.

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chocolate fudge http://theculinarychase.com/2016/11/chocolate-fudge/ Tue, 29 Nov 2016 17:48:12 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=13256 I cannot recall the last time I made fudge.  It was a family favourite growing up and around the Christmas holidays, there was always some to be had.  My mom always had the pantry and freezer full of cooked goodies.  The laundry room became the storage area for fruit cake, plum puddings, cookies, squares not […]

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chcolate fudge - homemade holiday giftI cannot recall the last time I made fudge.  It was a family favourite growing up and around the Christmas holidays, there was always some to be had.  My mom always had the pantry and freezer full of cooked goodies.  The laundry room became the storage area for fruit cake, plum puddings, cookies, squares not to mention tins of Ganong chocolates.  It was an out-in-the-open treasure chest that as a kid I could not ignore (a few times caught with my hand in the cookie jar). 

While I don’t cook as many sweets as mom did, never had her sweet tooth, I do like to have some on hand.  Fudge was, like most good recipes, a mistake.  An American invention in the 1880’s, fudge was the result of bungled caramels.  How sweet it is!  Dress up fudge by adding marshmallows, dried cranberries, salted nuts, mint, nutella, crushed candy cane, orange zest, maltesers, coconut – you get the picture.  This makes a lovely gift to share at your next book club soirée, to a friendly neighbour, favourite teacher or for a relative who no longer bakes.

2 cups white sugar
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup of whole milk or heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Butter a 5″ x 9″ loaf pan. Combine sugar, milk, chocolate chips and honey in a thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir until chocolate has melted. Increase heat to bring mixture to a gentle boil. Do not stir. Let the gentle bubbles do its thing otherwise the stirring will result in a grainy texture. Cook until candy thermometer reaches 235f. To check whether fudge is ready, use a metal spoon to drizzle a little fudge in a cup of ice water. If it forms a soft, pliable ball, then it’s done.  Remove from heat and gently stir in butter and vanilla.  Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool to room temperature before cutting (overnight is best but if you can’t wait…).  Cut into slices or squares.  Store in airtight container in fridge for up to one week.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Another way to check whether fudge is ready is to note when larger bubbles become smaller; do the test above.  Enjoy!

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blueberry-blackberry fool http://theculinarychase.com/2016/08/blueberry-blackberry-fool/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 19:23:00 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=12926 Blueberry-blackberry fool has to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  Not everyone is a fan of blackberries but mixed with blueberries and cream, it’s guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table.  Both blueberries and blackberries are in season so look for fruit that’s plump but not mushy to touch.  A perfect […]

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blueberry blackberry foolBlueberry-blackberry fool has to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  Not everyone is a fan of blackberries but mixed with blueberries and cream, it’s guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table.  Both blueberries and blackberries are in season so look for fruit that’s plump but not mushy to touch.  A perfect venue to find these beauties is at farmers’ markets or go to a u-pick berry farm.  I’m not sure why this quintessential English dessert is called a fool, but no matter, it’s light and simply scrumptious!  In the 15th century, the most common fruit used in a fool was the gooseberry.  The fruit was folded into a custard but I prefer whipped cream when I don’t have time.  For more fool dessert ideas, check out Series Eats.

Serves 4
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cups whipped cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Cointreau or elderflower cordial

In a frying pan over medium heat melt butter then stir in maple syrup. Add berries, liqueur and stir to combine. Reduce heat and simmer just until berries become a bit soft and the natural juices have been released. Remove from heat, set pan aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

blueberriesWhip cream to soft peaks. Grab a dish of your choice and add a dollop of whipped cream on the bottom followed by a spoonful of fruit. Repeat process.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Top, if you like, with a simple nut brittle.  If you have any berry sauce leftover, mix with plain yogurt.  Enjoy!

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Lemon Tart – a bit of sunshine http://theculinarychase.com/2016/06/lemon-tart-a-bit-of-sunshine/ Wed, 15 Jun 2016 20:13:01 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=12741 The weather here has been grey, wet and cooler than our usual Spring. We were in Paris for a week and it either rained or was overcast with periods of rain showers throughout the day. We came home and had a repeat of Paris weather. It’s been so wet mushrooms are sprouting up in our […]

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Lemon TartThe weather here has been grey, wet and cooler than our usual Spring. We were in Paris for a week and it either rained or was overcast with periods of rain showers throughout the day. We came home and had a repeat of Paris weather. It’s been so wet mushrooms are sprouting up in our lawn so when patches of blue sky poked through the clouds this morning, I was elated.  Lake Banook, Nova ScotiaA bit of yellow to brighten up my mood came in the form of food.  This lemon tart reminded me of how we all need a bit of colour injected into our lives; it helps to make us feel good.  Our senses are heightened when a dash of colour shows up in food and we eat with our eyes first thus telling our taste buds what to expect.  When I mentioned to Mr S. I thought I’d make a lemon tart, his eyes lit up.  This recipe is easy and the taste factor is guaranteed to place a smile on your face.

Serves 10
shortcrust pastry for 10-inch loose-bottom tart tin (1 1/2-inches deep)
6 eggs
3 lemons
1 cup castor sugar
2/3 cup cream

Roll pastry out and line a lightly greased tart tin. Use a fork to prick the base and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400f (200c).  Line pastry with crumbled parchment paper (do NOT use wax paper) and cover with a thin line of pie weights or baking beans.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until pastry edge is golden.  Remove paper and weights and return to oven to bake a further 4 minutes.  Remove from oven and place baked shell on a cookie sheet.

To make the filling, finely grate the zest from 2 lemons and squeeze enough juice to give you 3/4 cup.  In a large bowl add lemon zest, eggs, and sugar and beat until light but not frothy.  Stir in lemon juice and cream.

Pull oven rack out halfway, place baked shell on the rack, and pour filling into baked shell.  Gingerly slide the rack back in – the filling will be right to the top of the pastry edge.  Reduce oven temperature to 250f (120c) and bake 40 to 45 minutes until just set.  It may seem a bit wobbly but will firm up when cool.

lemon tart- a bit of sunshine on a plateThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  My tart tin is 9-inches and only 1-inch deep and as a result I had some filling left over.  I warmed up the lemon filling and added 1 tablespoon of butter.  Stir until thick and use this lemon curd butter spread over toast, on ice cream, dotted on pavlova.  Enjoy!

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orange jelly slices http://theculinarychase.com/2016/05/orange-jelly-slices/ Fri, 06 May 2016 20:00:19 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=12552 According to What’s Cooking America, gelatin was once considered a sign of wealth, before the commercial version appeared, only members of the elite classes could afford it. It took hours to render gelatin, clarify it, and turn it into fancy aspics, molded salads, desserts. etc. The use of gelatin was a sign that the host […]

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orange jelly slicesAccording to What’s Cooking America, gelatin was once considered a sign of wealth, before the commercial version appeared, only members of the elite classes could afford it. It took hours to render gelatin, clarify it, and turn it into fancy aspics, molded salads, desserts. etc. The use of gelatin was a sign that the host or hostess had the means to support a kitchen staff with the skill and time to create such a dish. When gelatin became available commercially it still was a symbol of culinary sophistication. 

I have fond memories of jello desserts and my mom made many jellied salads and aspics – some I liked, some I did not.  As a kid, I was always fascinated with the ‘jiggly dessert’.  My siblings and I would break it down by whipping it around our bowls or to see who could try to pass it between our teeth without spilling it…I know, gross, but we were kids.  Fast forward to 2016, and like the kid in me, I find myself marvelling at orange jelly slices.

As I was making these, my mind drifted back to when our daughter was graduating from high school and a group of her friends had the task of making 300 jello shots!  My version does not include any alcohol but if you were so inclined, you could add vodka, peach schnapps, cointreau or other flavored alcohol.  Once you’ve made a batch of jelly slices, get creative and add a half layer of juice, allow to set, and top with a different flavored juice.

Serves 6
3 to 4 navel oranges
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Wash oranges then cut in half crosswise. Juice oranges and strain. You will need 1 3/4 cups of juice. Carefully scrape out and discard pulp from oranges to form six-half shells.

navel orangesIn a small saucepan combine 1/4 cup of the juice with the gelatin and set aside for 5 minutes. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally until the gelatin is clear (about 3 to 4 minutes). Whisk in remaining juice and lemon juice. Transfer juice to a measuring jug for easy pouring.

orange jelly cupsArrange orange shells in muffin tins or ramekins (keeps shells upright) and pour mixture over evenly. Place in fridge and chill until set, about 4 hours. When set, remove from fridge and cut each half into wedges.  If needed, trim away any excess orange skin before serving.

jelly slicesThe Culinary Chase’s Note: Choose navel oranges that are small enough to fit in a juicer.  The added lemon juice helps to enhance the orange flavor. Enjoy!

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plum dessert – fresh and light http://theculinarychase.com/2016/04/plum-dessert/ Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:52:00 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=12452 A dessert concludes the main meal and for me, it’s the last thing I think about when planning a meal.  I’m just as happy to snack on fruit and a bit of cheese than fill my stomach with another course. I am usually too full.  But give me an option to savour fruit with yogurt, […]

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plum dessertA dessert concludes the main meal and for me, it’s the last thing I think about when planning a meal.  I’m just as happy to snack on fruit and a bit of cheese than fill my stomach with another course. I am usually too full.  But give me an option to savour fruit with yogurt, I’ll always make room.  It signals to my brain something fresh and light.  A plum dessert like this one is a cinch to make and while they taste their best when in season, sautéing the slices brings out the natural sugars of the fruit.  Plums are delicious in salads, as a sauce served in a homemade belini, plum barbecue sauce, granita, roasted plum parfaits, jam, and more.

For this dish I added a simple maple nut brittle.  It’s not necessary but quite delightful if you do decide to go with it.

Serves 2

2 plums, washed and sliced into quarters
good handful blackberries
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups Greek plain yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

Simple Nut Brittle –
handful of pecans
handful of almonds
splash of maple syrup
sea salt

plum slicesIn a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat, add maple syrup and butter. When butter has melted, give the pan a swirl then add plum slices. Cook 5 minutes then flip slices over and add blackberries. Cook until plum slices are soft.  You can leave this for up to a few hours before using.  When ready to use, reheat.

plum slices with blackberriesTo make the brittle, preheat oven to 350f (180c).  On a parchment-lined baking sheet add nuts and a splash of maple syrup (make sure all nuts are lightly coated) and a sprinkling of sea salt.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

nut brittleDivide yogurt between two bowls followed by the plum slices.  Top with nut brittle and the juice from the plums.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: If removing from refrigerator, let plums come to room temperature before cooking.  Enjoy!

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devil’s food cupcakes http://theculinarychase.com/2016/01/devils-food-cupcakes/ Tue, 26 Jan 2016 21:44:52 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=12033 Devil’s food conjures up something sinister.  We’re all familiar with deviled eggs, devils on horseback (dates wrapped in bacon), chicken alla Diavola (devil’s chicken) etc.  And according to What’s Cooking America, the term deviled is used to describe food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily piquant or stimulating.  This recipe is one I have used […]

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devil's food cupcakesDevil’s food conjures up something sinister.  We’re all familiar with deviled eggs, devils on horseback (dates wrapped in bacon), chicken alla Diavola (devil’s chicken) etc.  And according to What’s Cooking America, the term deviled is used to describe food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily piquant or stimulating.  This recipe is one I have used for years to make my old-fashioned devil’s food cake – supposedly the chocolate version of an angel food cake.  I’ve been craving chocolate of late and was thumbing through my folder of old recipes I’ve collected over the years.  When I saw this recipe, I decided cupcakes would be a better fit than a 9-inch round, two-layer cake…it’s just the two of us.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and these melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes are sure to soften any heart.

devil's food cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 18-24
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ⅔ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chocolate Buttercream Icing -
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 oz.unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup milk or cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350f (180c). Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix all cupcake ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl. Increase speed to high and beat 2 more minutes, scraping the side of the bowl as required.
  3. Spoon batter evenly among cupcake liners to about two-thirds full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cupcakes on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then remove from the tin. Cool on the rack completely.
  4. To make the icing, combine all ingredients except milk in a large mixer bowl. Beat at low speed until sugar is blended in. Increase to medium speed and gradually add enough milk or cream to make icing to desired consistency.

 

devil's food cupcake batterThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  Use the best grade of chocolate you have on hand for the best tasting result.  For the icing, I melt the chocolate with a splash of cream as this makes it easier to mix in with the icing sugar.  Enjoy!

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DIY ferrero rocher http://theculinarychase.com/2015/12/diy-ferrero-rocher/ http://theculinarychase.com/2015/12/diy-ferrero-rocher/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2015 14:41:20 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=11785 I’ve mentioned it before.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth but if there’s one chocolate that halts me in my footsteps, it’s ferrero rocher.  While I am not a fan of milk chocolate the combination of hazelnuts wrapped in what reminds me of nutella (yum) along with a crisp wafer…I’m salivating just thinking about […]

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diy ferrero rocherI’ve mentioned it before.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth but if there’s one chocolate that halts me in my footsteps, it’s ferrero rocher.  While I am not a fan of milk chocolate the combination of hazelnuts wrapped in what reminds me of nutella (yum) along with a crisp wafer…I’m salivating just thinking about it!  Making your own chocolates is a labor of love and I was curious to see if I could replicate my own ferrero rocher.  I went sleuthing for a DIY version on the internet.  Turns out there are quite of few. The diy ferrero rocher recipe I decided on is slightly adapted from Instructables.  This recipe calls for getting your hands dirty and sticky but don’t fret, the effort is worth it!

Makes from 22 to 36 (depending on size rolled)
1 cup whole hazelnuts (out of this set aside 36 whole nuts for the centers)
3/4 to 1 cup Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread
1/2 cup chopped hazelnut wafer cookies (I used Loacker)
1 cup dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)
sea salt

Chop hazelnuts using a food processor or with a knife. Set aside about 1/2 cup of the chopped nuts in another bowl.  In a bowl combine chopped nuts and chopped wafers.   Add 3/4 cup of nutella and mix well. Refrigerate.

diy ferrero rocher CollageUse a melon baller to scoop out small balls of the nutella mixture and then push a whole hazelnut into the center of each one. Roll and shape with palm of your hands. It’s easier if you slightly moisten your hands with water (you’ll need to wash your hands a couple of times during the rolling process, this helps keep the sticky part down to a minimum). Roll the balls in chopped hazelnuts and place on a parchment-lined tray.  Refrigerate until firm or overnight if you’re short on time.

Melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Remove hazelnut balls from fridge and dip, one at a time, in the melted chocolate. Use a two pronged fork to remove ball from chocolate and allow chocolate to drip before placing on parchment-lined rack.  Sprinkle tops with sea salt then transfer to the fridge to set completely.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  You can also use a toothpick when dipping hazelnut balls into chocolate if you find that an easier option.  I started with 3/4 cup nutella as I didn’t want the mixture to be overly wet.   Enjoy!

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poached pears – an easy dessert http://theculinarychase.com/2015/11/poached-pears-an-easy-dessert/ http://theculinarychase.com/2015/11/poached-pears-an-easy-dessert/#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2015 20:39:55 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=11640 It’s been a while since I last poached pears.  A super easy dessert to make and one where you don’t need any special ingredients.  Poached pears make the best use of unripe fruit and heightens the flavor of firm but ripe pears.  This light and delicate dessert is perfect for entertaining; the pears stay in […]

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poached pearsIt’s been a while since I last poached pears.  A super easy dessert to make and one where you don’t need any special ingredients.  Poached pears make the best use of unripe fruit and heightens the flavor of firm but ripe pears.  This light and delicate dessert is perfect for entertaining; the pears stay in the poaching liquid until ready to serve.  Serve the pears whole, sliced or quartered.  Check out Delia’s post on pears where she covers a multitude of ways to use this delicious fruit.  This recipe is simple and yet an elegant way to round off an evening of entertaining.

Serves 2
3 cups water
6 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (I used maple syrup)
lemon or orange peel
2 pears, peeled
1 cinnamon stick

pearsUse a melon baller/scoop or sharp knife to remove the core.  In a pan over medium heat, stir to dissolve maple syrup in the water. Add citrus peel, cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add pears. Cover and poach pears 10 minutes up to 25 minutes (whole pears will take 25 minutes).  After 10 minutes pierce pears with a knife; the pears should give a little without being mushy.

If poaching whole pears, make sure the liquid covers the fruit.  Remove from heat and allow to cool in liquid. When ready to serve, remove pears and reheat liquid over medium flame. Add pears to the warm poaching liquid. To plate, arrange pears on dishes and top with poaching liquid and orange peel.  I used crushed roasted pecans for an added topping.

poached pearsThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  Substitute cinnamon stick for star anise or whole cardamom. This dessert is lovely on its own, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, yogurt or with a slice of pecorino cheese. Enjoy!

poached pears

poached pears - an easy dessert
 
This light dessert is perfect for entertaining; the pears stay in the poaching liquid until ready to serve. Serve the pears whole, sliced or quartered.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (I used maple syrup)
  • lemon or orange peel
  • 2 pears, peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Instructions
  1. Use a melon baller/scoop or sharp knife to remove the core.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, stir to dissolve maple syrup in the water. Add citrus peel, cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add pears. Cover and poach pears 10 minutes up to 25 minutes (whole pears will take 25 minutes). After 10 minutes pierce pears with a knife; the pears should give a little without being mushy.
  3. If poaching whole pears, make sure the liquid covers the fruit.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool in liquid. When ready to serve, remove pears and reheat liquid over medium flame. Add pears to the warm poaching liquid.
  5. To plate, arrange pears on dishes and top with poaching liquid and orange peel. I used some crushed roasted pecans for an added topping.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Substitute cinnamon stick for star anise or whole cardamom. This dessert is lovely on its own, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, yogurt or with a slice of pecorino cheese. Enjoy!

 

 

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