Rich Dark Chocolate Tart With Poached Pears

Rich Dark Chocolate Tart With Poached Pears
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Prep + cook time 2 hours
(+ refrigeration, freezing & cooling)
Serves 12

  • 125g cold butter, chopped
  • 40g (¼ cup) icing sugar
  • 185g (1¼ cups) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon chilled water
  • 400g dark chocolate (50% cocoa), chopped
  • 200g butter, chopped coarsely, extra
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour

Poached Pears

  • 125ml (½ cup) lemon juice
  • 175g (½ cup) honey
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 110g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 6 green pears (1.2kg), peeled, quartered

Honeyed Walnuts

  • 75g (¾ cup) walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon honey

1 Process butter, icing sugar, flour and cocoa until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and the water; process until ingredients come together. Enclose in cling film; refrigerate 30 minutes.

2 Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until thick. Freeze 5 minutes. Lift pastry into an 11cm x 35cm rectangular loose-based fluted tart tin, press into sides, trim edges; prick base all over with a fork. Freeze for 20 minutes.

3 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

4 Place tart tin on an oven tray; line with baking paper, fill with dried beans or rice. Bake 15 minutes. Remove paper and beans; bake a further 10 minutes or until browned lightly. Cool on tray. 

5 Reduce oven to 180°C/160°C fan.

6 Stir chocolate and extra butter
in a heatproof medium bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until just melted. Remove bowl from pan; whisk in egg and flour until just combined. Pour mixture into pastry case; smooth surface.

7 Bake tart 20 minutes or until just set. Cool. Cover; refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

8 Meanwhile, make poached pears, then honeyed walnuts.

9 Serve tart topped with walnuts and syrup, accompanied with pears.

Poached Pears 
Heat juice, honey, the water, sugar and vanilla pod in a medium saucepan over a low heat; cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil over a high heat; reduce heat to medium-low. Add pears; cook 20 minutes or until just tender. Remove pears from syrup with a slotted spoon. Return syrup to the boil over high heat. Boil 10 minutes or until thickened slightly.

Honeyed Walnuts
Place walnuts on a baking-paper-lined oven tray. Drizzle with honey; toss to coat. Bake at 180°C/160°C fan for 12 minutes, stirring halfway, until golden. Cool.