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No-Bake Pear And Chocolate Cake With Pear Gelée

No-Bake Pear And Chocolate Cake With Pear Gelée

How do you develop an original recipe?
This is the question I often hear. And I would like to answer it today telling you how the pear cake was created.

The creative process never follows a single direction.
Sometimes inspiration comes from an ingredient, sometimes from a flavour. It happens that I visualize the project of a new recipe or find a suggestion to follow while standing in line at the market, reading a book, chatting with a friend or watching television, the latter of which has already happened with the Digestive cookies recipe. And, again, with this pear cake.

No-Bake Pear And Chocolate Cake With Pear Gelée

How an original recipe comes about, in practice.

I have been thinking for days about how to use the plenty of pears I have cooked.
I would like to make a cake, but what kind of it?

I still haven’t decided whether it’s going to be a dessert or a breakfast cake when Master Knam, the king of chocolate!, appears on television making a rocket gelée and, in an instant, I think: pears!

And from that time, the cake starts to take shape.
I have a gelée to make with the fruit cream while I think I will use most of it for the filling. At this point it is clear to me that it will be a “spoon” dessert.

But when I start making the jelly, I still haven’t decided the base of the cake or even which flavouring to add to the pear cream filling.

The pear gelée.

I didn’t think I knew how to make gelée until I tried and I got it.
On the other hand, it’s a matter of mixing a puree, sweet or savory, with a thickener and letting it stand. If the proportions are right, you can’t go wrong.

After calculating ‘about’ how much pear pulp I could use, I added all the agar-agar I had in the pantry. Spices to taste. Fortunately, the taste is balanced and the agar-agar was enough to thicken the fruit puree.

A short note on thickeners which I do not usually use.
I have nothing against gelatine in sheets but if you have looked at the Desserts or Cakes and Cookies sections you will have noticed that I prefer the second type of sweets and that my spoon dessert recipes have simple procedures where, almost always, the solidification process takes place spontaneously, in the freezer or fridge.

But for a jelly, the thickener is necessary and so I used agar-agar, you know, a tasteless powder made from algae and that you can find everywhere, from the supermarket to the herbalist’s shop.

Fruit gelée recipe

Fruit gelée recipe

While cooking I find inspiration for the next step.

While stirring the pear gelée, I think about the colours of the cake and I see a boring monochrome of beige tones.

I decide to add a spoonful of bitter cocoa and the gelée takes a warm tobacco colour.

Before putting the pot on the heat, I reflect on the dessert mould.
The gelée, which will be the top layer, should be the same width or less than the diameter of the cake.

I opt for a layer of gelée equal in size to the surface of the cake and use the same mould as the dessert. I chose a round mould but you can also work with a rectangular one.

After having decided the shape of the cake and solved the question of layers and moulds, I prepare the mould for the jelly: I soak the bottom with a little bit of water and cover it with cling film which, in this way, adheres better. I leave the edges of the foil wide so that when I’ll need the mould, I can protect the jelly better.
After only an hour, you can retrieve the mold.

The base.

For the base of the cake I choose the one of no-bake cheesecake.
Dry biscuits, chopped, flavoured with cinnamon, but you can use a different spice, and then spread on the bottom of the pan.

The base is ready, I put it in the fridge to rest while I work on the filling.

The filling: cream of pears and white chocolate.

I have reserved most of the pear cream, a cream that looks like a thick jam, for the filling. I want to combine it with fresh mascarpone cheese, which will give structure to the fruit puree after a little time in the fridge.

I melt some chocolate, white to preserve the light colour of the cream and contrast with the gelée, in a little pear juice. Finally, I stir in a couple of tablespoons of Marsala.
Another flavour, like that of chocolate, that goes well with pears.

I then pour it onto the base that was resting in the fridge, even out the surface as best I can, and place it back in the fridge.

Note on pear puree.

You can buy jam or make your own. If you do buy jam, I recommend something natural, with no added sugar, or puree, also natural.

If it is a puree, put it in a strainer and place it on top of a bowl, then let it drain for some time to lose any liquid.

In any case, taste and decide whether what you have bought is sweet enough for you (you won’t find sugar among the ingredients for making pear cream).

Having plenty of fresh fruit on hand, I made it myself (if you’re interested, find the process below the recipe).

Decoration.

As a pastry chef, I am not an expert and decorations are not my speciality. When I make a dessert, I avoid complicated things so as not to spoil the presentation.

I cut a slice of fresh pear and, in its simplicity, it seems to work well.
Remember to sprinkle the slice with lemon juice so that it doesn’t blacken and to keep the stalk and a couple of seeds.

I hope I haven’t bored you with the story of how I develop a recipe. 

Before reading the process, I’ll just say that this is a simple to make but elegant.

Buona cucina, Monica

Keep in Touch.

If you are on Instagram, you find me as @tortelliniandco. If you cook with me, share your job on instagram and, please!, talk about my food blog and make word-of-mouth, I live on it. I know my English is not perfect, but the recipes are all truly traditional and tested. Thank you!

No-Bake Pear And Chocolate Cake With Pear Gelée

Food Tip:

If you use gluten-free biscuits, this cake will also suit those with intolerances.

Pear And Chocolate Cake With Pear Gelée Recipe


serves 4-6
mould 14cm diameter
Ingredients


Pear Gelée
pear jam or cream, 250g
agar-agar, 30g
cloves, a pinch
salt, a pinch
bitter cocoa, 20g
natural vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon

Cookies Base
dry biscuits, 130g
butter, 80g
salt, a pinch
milk, 1 tablespoon
brown sugar, 1 tablespoon

if you like: cinnamon, 2g

Pear cream
white chocolate, 50g
pear juice, 30g
pear cream, 200g
fresh mascarpone cheese, 140g
salt, a pinch

if desired: dry Marsala, 1 or 2 tablespoons


Directions

Pear Gelée.

You can also make the cake without gelèe.
If you don’t want to do it, go straight to the cookies base.

Choose the mould for the gelée: it must be the same size as the cake mould (it can be smaller but not bigger because the gelée is the top layer of the dessert).

You can use the same mould as the cake, in this case prepare the jelly the day or a few hours before. When you have recovered the mould, leave the gelée in the freezer wrapped in cling film until you want to use it.

Wet the bottom of the mould with a little water and cover with cling film so that the edges come out of the mould.

In a small saucepan, mix the pear cream with spices, salt and vanilla. Add the agar-agar with a sieve and stir to avoid lumps. Put on the cooker and bring to a boil stirring, once boiling keep on the fire for a minute, turn off and pour into the mold, even the surface and put in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.

After about an hour, you can take the mould and leave the gelée in the freezer wrapped in cling film.

Cheesecake base.

To make the base of the dessert, melt the butter in a saucepan and while it cools a little, finely chop the biscuits with sugar and cinnamon. In a bowl, mix the cookies powder with milk and melted butter.

Line the mould with wet and wrung out baking paper, pour in the biscuit base and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to a couple of hours (or overnight).

Pear cream.

Melt the chocolate in the pear juice in a small saucepan.

Pour pear cream, mascarpone, Marsala, salt and melted chocolate into a bowl.
Mix the ingredients until obtain a smooth cream.

Pour over the biscuit base, even out the cream and place back in the fridge.

Decoration.

Since I am not able to make special decorations, I choose simple things.
Take a pear and cut it in half. Then cut a thin slice, drizzle with lemon on both sides, wrap gently in cling film and place in the freezer. Keep the stalk of the pear and a couple of seeds (but you can substitute two chocolate chips if you wish).

Make the dessert.

Take the dessert out of the fridge and retrieve the gelée and decoration from the freezer.

Take the cake out of the mould. Remove the parchment paper and place it on a serving plate. Open the cling film where the gelée is wrapped and place the part you see on the surface of the cake, then remove the foil.

Place the decoration in the middle.

Leave in the fridge until serving and, if you can, place in the freezer for 5 minutes before serving. Or store in the freezer and take out 10 minutes before cutting.

Fruit dessert

Homemade Pear Cream:

I chose Kaiser and Williams pears, about 500-600g of fruit, a couple of apples and one organic lemon.

Peel the apples and pears, remove the cores and cut them into pieces. Put them in a pan, add the lemon juice and about 150 g of brown sugar. Taste the fruit and decide whether the sugar is right for you. Not all fruit is the same.

Nor does it contain the same amount of water, so cooking times may be different. Cook for about two hours, leave to rest and, the next day, put it back on the heat to dry the liquid that the fruit has produced.

You can also cook for longer during the first boiling and then drain the resulting puree. The liquid obtained after putting the puree to drain is the syrup in which I melted the chocolate.

Taste the pear cream and if it seems a little sweet, add a little sugar and put it back on the cooker for half an hour on a low heat.

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