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Le Cordon Bleu News, 06/03/2009
Recipe of the month
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Spiced Pear Dacquoise with Chocolate and Red Wine Sauce


Spiced Pear Dacquoise with Chocolate and Red Wine Sauce

Le Cordon Bleu Spiced Pear Dacquoise with Chocolate and Red Wine Sauce


Preparation: 1 ½ hr
Cooking: 35 min
Serves: 6


1. Preheat the oven at 170°C (gas mark 3).  Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment.

2. Dacquoise: whisk the egg whites and sugar together until they form soft peaks, then gently fold in the sifted almonds, icing sugar and flour.  Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium-sized nozzle, and use an 8 cm diameter a pastry ring to make 6 pastry discs on the baking sheet, making the borders thicker to form a nest.   Bake the discs for 20 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

3. Ganache: chop the bitter chocolate and put into a bowl.  Bring the cream and honey to the boil, and pour onto the chopped chocolate.  Stir gently with a flexible spatula, then mix in the butter.  Spread this ganache in the centre of each dacquoise, and leave to set.

4. Spiced pears: peel the pears, cut in half and core, leaving the stems.  Rub with the ½ lemon to prevent them from discolouring.  In a pan, bring the butter, honey and spices to the boil.  Add the pears and cook for 15 minutes, turning them over once half way through cooking.

5. Chocolate and red wine sauce: chop the chocolate.  In a saucepan, heat the wine and star anise over medium heat.  Then bring to the boil and reduce the wine by half.  Add the chopped chocolate and sugar, and return to the boil, adjust with water if necessary if too thick.  Cook until the chocolate is completely melted, pass through a china cap sieve, then leave to cool.

6. To serve: Prepare 6 warm plates.  Place a dacquoise nest topped with 2 warm pear halves on each, and drizzle a little chocolate and red wine sauce around.


4 egg whites
50 g caster sugar
70 g ground almonds, sifted
75 g icing sugar, sifted
30 g flour, sifted

90 g bitter chocolate (55 to 70% cocoa)
100 ml double cream
15 g honey of neutral flavour
35 g unsalted butter, softened

Spiced pears
6 pears
½ lemon
30 g unsalted butter
40 g honey of neutral flavour
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper

Chocolate and red wine sauce
100 g chocolate
½ bottle red wine
3 star anise
20 ml water, only if necessary
30 g caster sugar





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