Prep tips: This dessert needs to be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated, then brought to room temp before serving. (Don't serve cold, or it will be too firm to enjoy.) If you want to roast the pears in advance, keep them in the pan and reheat briefly before serving.
Recipe Ingredient Details:
1 pound high-quality dark chocolate (bittersweet or semisweet, chopped)
5 ounces unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
5 egg yolks
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 tablespoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder (for dusting)
fresh mint sprigs (for garnish)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons maple or natural cane sugar
2 ripe pears (Bartlett or Anjou, peeled, cored and quartered)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Melt chocolate with butter in a large bowl set over hot (not boiling) water. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks and flour. In a separate, clean bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Add sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold one-fourth of egg whites into chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest. Scrape into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes exactly. Cool. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
At least 1 hour before serving, remove cake from refrigerator, remove outer ring, and invert onto a plate, removing parchment paper. Using a fine strainer, dust top with cocoa until nicely coated.
Preheat oven to 450°. Combine ginger, allspice, and sugar. Gently toss with pears. Melt butter in an ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add pears and cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Turn pears cut sides up. Transfer to oven and roast until tender, about 7 minutes.
To serve: Warm a sharp knife with hot water; dry. Cut cake slivers with warm knife and transfer to dessert plates. Add two warm pear quarters and add a small scoop of ice cream, if desired. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Recipe Additional Notes:
PER SERVING: 299 cal, 54% fat cal, 20g fat, 12g sat fat, 92mg chol, 4g protein, 34g carb, 5g fiber, 42mg sodium
Sun, 2009-02-01 19:10