Chocolate Financier with Caramel Tea-Poached Pears


Caramel Tea-Poached Pears
  • 1 litre water
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 20g tea leaves (something light, fragrant and floral or fruity. I used French Earl Grey)
  • 1 strip of orange rind
  • 4-6 small corella or beurre bosc pears
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbl cream
Chocolate Financier Cake
  • 130g unsalted butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 5g cornflour
  • 10g Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 130g egg whites (from about 4 eggs)
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 50g hazelnut meal
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 120g dark chocolate, melted and cooled a little
Caramel Tea-Poached Pears
  1. To poach the pears, bring the water, sugar, tea leaves and orange rind to a boil in a saucepan then turn off the heat, shut the lid and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes. Strain into another saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile peel pears, halve lengthwise then take the core out with a melon baller. Submerge the pears in the strained tea liquid, bring back to a boil then gently simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until pears are tender (test it by inserting a skewer into the base of the pear. It should slide in easily). Make sure the pears stay submerged in the liquid during cooking by weighing it down with a heavy heatproof bowl.
  3. Remove from heat and leave pears in the poaching liquid for about 5-10 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside while you prepare the caramel (discard poaching liquid).
  4. Combine sugar and water in a large pan or skillet over low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase heat to medium then cook until an amber caramel, swirling occasionally (do not stir).
  5. Add the poached pear halves in single layer, cut side down and baste the pears with the caramel. Remove from pan when pears are glazed and sticky all over and set aside to cool. Cook remaining liquid until reduced to a light syrup. Remove from heat then stir through the butter and cream and leave aside to cool completely.
Chocolate Financier Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the sides with baking paper.
  2. Melt butter in a pan over low heat. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook butter until light brown and nutty in fragrance (when the spluttering and noise dies down, it’s nearly ready so keep a watchful eye to stop it from burning). Strain brown butter into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, sift together the plain flour, cornflour, cocoa powder and salt. With your stand mixer or by hand, whisk the egg whites until it has loosened and is frothy. Whisk in the sugar until mixed then add the hazelnut meal and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  4. Gently stir through the sifted flour mix then the brown butter. Fold through the melted chocolate taking care not to over-mix. Pour batter into tin and bake for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean but with a few crumbs stuck to it. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then turn out and leave to cool completely.
  5. Dust with sweetened cocoa powder if you wish, top with pears and drizzle caramel sauce over.

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