Sunday, 23 September 2012

Pear, caramel and chocolate truffle meringue

A twist on the banoffee meringue when we had friends round who didn't like bananas. So thought I'd adapt it with pears and caramel.

Begin making a caramel meringue. Whisk 4 egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Then add 175g soft light brown sugar and 60g caster sugar and 1tbsp cornflour.

Add it one spoon at a time and beat between each addition. It should still be stiff and glossy. Then whisk in 1 tsp white wine vinegar (don't worry you won't taste this).

 Next spread it on a lined baking tray in a large circle and use the back of the spoon to pull it up into peaks. Put in an oven at about 150 degrees (fan) for an hour. Then turn off and leave to cool overnight in the oven.

Meanwhile prepare the toppings. First put a can of condensed milk in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer for three hours. You must make sure you keep topping up the water. When the three hours has passed you can leave it to one side to cool.

Take some firm yet ripe pears and peel. Place in a large saucepan.

Cover with water (around 500ml I used) and add grated zest of one orange and one lemon as well as the juice. Also add 200g granulated sugar, a star anise and some cloves. A stick of cinnamon can also be added. Simmer for about 12 minutes. Then turn off and leave to cool again overnight in the liquid.

In the morning remove the cooked meringue from the oven.

Cover with about 200ml whipped cream.

Then take the cool tin of condensed milk and remove the lid then spoon over the caramel inside.

Then take the cool pears out of the liquid and cut into slices (leave off the stalks and core) and cover the caramel with these.

I had some double cream left so mixed 100ml double cream and 100ml dark chocolate and melted it together. Then let it set and rolled some mini truffles and scattered over the top.

You can dust with some cocoa powder. You can also take the pear poaching juice and boil in a clean saucepan until it reduces in half. This liquid can be served alongside the meringue.

It's quite an adult pudding even with the ingredients and it's fairly naughty but once in a while..... til soon!

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