Have a bunch of tooth breakingly hard pears in your fruit bowl? Instead of waiting of them to ripen, why not steam them and combine them with a rich chocolate pudding? Pears aren’t the obvious choice when it comes to fruit and chocolate pairings. Orange, cherry and raspberries probably being the more popular options but they do go awfully well. The vanilla notes from the pear contrast so perfectly well against those dark bitter flavours from the chocolate.
You could just have the steamed pears with some greek yoghurt and a handful of crunchy granola for breakfast but I think it’s worth whipping up a batch of chocolate puddings to go with it.
Chocolate pear steamed puddings
6 very small pears, peeled (stalk kept on)
150 g salted butter, soft
150g light brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 tbsp treacle
½ tsp sea salt
120g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
6 large buttered ramekins
Prepare the pears as above and place in a steamer basket over a pan of simmering water. Steam for 30 minutes or until tender.
In the meantime, beat together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, incorporating them one by one. Stir in the treacle. Sift in the salt, flour and the cocoa powder and fold into the wet mixture.
Divide the batter between the ramekins and add the pears with the stalk pointing upwards. Preheat the oven to 100c. Take a large dish deep and large enough to hold the ramekins. Place the ramekins in the dish and place in the oven. Fill the dish with enough water so it reaches halfway up the ramekins. Cover tightly with clingfilm. Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven (be careful not to get a blast of steam in the face!) and remove from the ramekins. Serve with the stalk pointing up on the plate.
Pears can be replaced with a handful of berries like cherries (destoned), raspberries or blueberries, if you don’t have time to steam the pears.