SPICED POACHED PEAR, GRAND MARNIER MASCARPONE, CHOCOLATE GANACHE AND THE CHOCOLATE SQUIGGLY THING

SPICED POACHED PEAR, GRAND MARNIER MASCARPONE, CHOCOLATE GANACHE AND THE CHOCOLATE SQUIGGLY THING

Gone pear-shaped…

My waistline, definitely. Isn’t it funny that all my t-shirts miraculously shrunk overnight? I blame the dryer, it has absolutely nothing to do with my over indulging eating habit off late. I am not here to talk about my curvy figure, but what’s more important to me right now is my personal ‘space’ and ‘time’. For the last few weeks, things have been hectic around me including work, social life, commitments and slowly disappearing into the quicksand. Every time I pull myself out to take a quick breath, I sink into the abyss even deeper and faster. I need a holiday, indeed. Thank god I have Melbourne and Darwin trips coming up end of this month and I can’t wait for a nice break.

Ingredients

  • My waistline, definitely. Isn’t it funny that all my t-shirts miraculously shrunk overnight? I blame the dryer, it has absolutely nothing to do with my over indulging eating habit off late. I am not here to talk about my curvy figure, but what’s more important to me right now is my personal ‘space’ and ‘time’. For the last few weeks, things have been hectic around me including work, social life, commitments and slowly disappearing into the quicksand. Every time I pull myself out to take a quick breath, I sink into the abyss even deeper and faster. I need a holiday, indeed. Thank god I have Melbourne and Darwin trips coming up end of this month and I can’t wait for a nice break.
  • So if you are like me, simply don’t have the extra time to fluffing about and too lazy to cook but still would like to whip up something quick to entertain the guests, then spiced poached pear has to be one of the tastiest and simplest desserts to prepare even when blindfolded. It doesn’t have to be fancy, I made a simple recipe by poaching the pear with cinnamon stick, star anise and Grand Marnier, then served with chocolate ganache, and mascarpone infused with more Grand Marnier of course.
  • So sexy…
  • Grand Marnier is my new best friend, seriously this stuff is good! If you have never had it before, Grand Marnier is actually cognac aged in oak casks blended with bitter orange peels, you can just tell it will go so well with any desserts. Since I picked up a bottle of Grand Marnier at the airport recently and thanks to my addiction to Top Chef Just Desserts, I’ve been trying to find a way to incorporate it into many desserts, including a Grand Marnier pecan pie, a Grand Marnier pudding served with Grand Marnier ice cream, and now a spiced Grand Marnier poached pears with Grand Marnier mascarpone cream. I seriously love this versatile cognac.
  • I was so happy when the good people at Trish Nicol Agency wanted to send me a bottle of Grand Marnier, and is not just another bottler of Grand Marnier, it is the 130th Anniversary limited ‘RUBY’ edition Grand Marnier! Sexy or what?!
  • ” class=”size-full wp-image-16985″ src=”http://www.atablefortwo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/grand-marnier-ruby31.jpg” alt=””>
  • I actually didn’t know that Grand Marnier released a limited edition design bottle every year and this year proven to be one of the best, 2008’s design (with mink coat!) is my second favourite. People collect ABSOLUT vodka, I think I will start collection Grand Marnier!
  • Anyway, back to the dessert…
  • I am still learning and finding new techniques for dessert plating. My siphon canister is working overtime these days, and for this dessert I also tried to foam up the Chocolate ganache… but without success. I should have thin the ganache down a little as it was too thick to be siphoned, and also I didn’t put enough ganache inside and every squirt is like a farting of brown poo goo, not the nicest thing to see on a plate.
  • Another technique that I tried to do is the squiggly chocolate noodle, also didn’t come out as what I’d hoped for. It is a very fun trick by simply piping chocolate into a pot of iced water and let it set. When done well, the chocolate noodles gives height and dimensions to the plating and texture.
  • For the pears, I simply poached them with spices and Grand Marnier until nice and soft. To create a red shade gradient at the bottom of the pears, I simply poached them further in a pot of red wine, just enough to cover the bottom half of the pears.
  • I definitely can see myself keep doing this simple dessert until perfecto.
  • SPICED POACHED PEAR, GRAND MARNIER MASCARPONE, CHOCOLATE GANACHE - serves 4
  • Recipe by A Table For Two
  • Spiced Grand Marnier Poached Pears
  • 4 pears peeled and cored
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Water
Read the whole recipe on A Table For Two