The Musette: roasted pears and nougat with chocolate sauce

You may recall that my beloved husband believes no meal is complete without dessert. While I can occasionally fob him off with fresh fruit, yoghurt or cheese during the week, this does not go down well at weekends, particularly after Sunday lunch.

Sometimes I can get away with cooking the fruit and serving it with a sauce, or crunchy topping or, in this case, both. This mouth-watering dessert is so simple, speedy and made with ingredients that I often have in stock. The nougat melts like roasted marshmallow over the soft unctious pears then you drizzle on the sensuous dark chocolate sauce. Desserts don’t get much better (or easier) than this – trust me!

Ingredients (serves 2 greedy cyclists)

  • 2 ripe pears, peeled and cored
  • 1 tbsp fruity olive oil
  • 200g (7 oz) soft nougat
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100g (4 oz) dark chocolate (70% min. cocoa solids) broken into small pieces

Method

1.Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF)/170ºC (350ºF)/gas mark 4. Peel the pears, cut them in half, core them and put them in a baking dish and brush them with tbsp olive oil.

2. Cut the nougat into chunks and scatter them over the pears. Roast the pears in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden and tender.

3. To make the sauce, put the syrup and cocoa powder in a pan and add 100ml (10 tbsp) water. Bring to the boil while whisking. Add the chocolate and stir until it melts. It should be beautifully glossy.

4. Serve the sauce with the pears.

Sheree’s Handy Hints

1.Use softish nougat which doesn’t have too many ingredients, preferably white nougat with almonds. You want the edges to just catch and the rest to partly melt over the pears.

2. The recipe makes more chocolate sauce than you’ll need but extra chocolate sauce is never a problem. It’ll be delicious on all sorts of things such as rum baked bananas, banana bread, pain perdu or just poured over ice cream.

3. At the end of a three-course meal, if you were so inclined, you could make this dessert stretch to four, but I wouldn’t!

Sculpture Saturday #30

This week I’ve again picked something more classical. Jeanne d’Arc is an 1874 French gilded bronze equestrian sculpture by Emmanuel Frémiet (1824-1910). The outdoor statue is prominently displayed in a public square, Place des Pyramides, in the 1st arrondissement of Paris.

The original statue was commissioned by the French government after the defeat of the country in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and inaugurated in 1874. It is the only public commission of the French state from 1870 to 1914, called the Golden Age of statuary in Paris, the other statues were funded by private subscriptions. It’s been classified aa a  historic monument since March 1992.

This challenge is kindly hosted by Sally Kelly over at Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition.

Share a photo of a statue or sculpture – go on, give it a go, you know you want to!