Tarta de choco y mousse de peras 3

Good morning friends! How are you? Are you ready to say goodbye to 2011? I know I am.

It is funny how the simple act of changing one tiny little number can make us feel like the days ahead are full of possibilities, that new beginnings are possible and that wonderful things await us. I embrace that feeling every year, even if it may be just an illusion for some. I like making time for pausing and reflecting and planning and hoping.

We also have a small tradition for New Year’s eve: we try a new recipe each year. We search old cookbooks, trusted blogs and the internet in look for yumminess and we prepare that. Alas, we still haven’t decided what to prepare this year! Mole Poblano is a strong contender…I’ll let you know next year whether we made it or not! And iIf you would like to give it a try, check Amanda’s blog.

When we started looking for recipes for New Year’s eve, I also started thinking about new recipes to share with you. And I remembered that this recipe, which appeared in Whole Kitchen Magazine back in September, could not be read by those of you who do not speak Spanish and that I had received several requests to share it in English. The problem was that the recipes were exclusively for Whole Kitchen, so I couldn’t publish them here without authorization (and, being a lawyer, everything related to authorizations, copyright, etc, etc is pretty much sacred to me!).

I contacted Silvia, one of the lovely editors of Whole Kitchen, and asked her whether I could publish it or if they would be interested in publishing the recipe in English in their blog. And she, very kindly, made an exception to the general rule due to the fact that my blog is  not in Spanish, and authorized its publication here.  So, my friends, here is the recipe for Chocolate and pear mousse pie that I submitted to Whole Kitchen Magazine (and remember that if you want it in Spanish, you can read it here)

 Ingredients

For the crust:

100 grs de butter

100 grs icing sugar

180 grs self-raising flour

60 grs cocoa

1 egg yolk

1 egg

For the filling:

4 medium-sized pears

100 grs  sugar

50 grs melted butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon natural lemon juice

1 envelope of unflavoured gelatin, diluted in 1/2  cup warm water and 1/4 cup cold water

2 egg whites, beaten until stiff

200 cm3 whipped cream

For the chocolate ganache:

200 grs dark chocolate (if you don’t like the bitterness of dark chocolate, you can use half dark chocolate, half semi-sweet chocolate)

200 cm3 cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pie de choco y mousse de peras 6

Preparation:

1)      Prepare the crust:   In a bowl, mix flour, cocoa and sugar. Make a whole in the middle and add butter, incorporating everything with your fingers  until it reaches an sand-like consistency. Add the egg and the egg yolk and integrate until you have a dough that you can form into a ball. Cover the dough with cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Grease and flour a 30 cms pie pan and preheat the oven to 150C/300F.   Remove the dough from the fridge, roll it and cover the pan with it. Bake it in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the dough separates from the borders of the pan. Remove from the oven and let it cool down while you prepare the filling.

2) Prepare the filling: Peal the pears and cut them into medium-sized squares. Place them in a saucepan together with butter, sugar and lemon juice. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or until the pears become soft.

Once the pears are soft, remove from the heat an let them cool down for about 10 minutes. Place the preparation in a food processor or blender and pulse until having a purée. Add the vanilla and let it cool completely (you may place the purée in the fridge to accelerate the process if you so desire).

Dissolve the unflavored gelatin and add it to the pear purée. Let it rest for 5 minutes so that the gelatin starts to add consistency to the purée.

Whip the cream until firm, being careful not to over do it (we don’t want to make butter!), and add it to the purée once it is ready.

Whip the egg whites until stiff and add them to the purée. Your pear mousse is now ready!

3) Add the pear mousse to the chocolate  crust and place the pie in the fridge until the filling is solid (about 4 hours)

4)      Prepare the ganache. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a heat-resistant bowl. Put the cream in a saucepan and put it on the stove, on low heat. Once the cream starts to boil, remove it from the heat and pour it on top of the chocolate. Once the chocolate starts to melt, start beating until it reaches a creamy consistency and until firm enough to cover the pie with it.

5)      Pour the ganache over the pie, making swirls with the back of a spoon. You may also put the ganache on a piping bag and decorate the pie with it.

6) Let the pie rest until the ganache is firm and serve.

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If you don’t want your pie to be too chocolatey, you can omit the ganache and serve it uncovered (just crust and filling). It is delicious either way.

Also, if you want to start the New Year with a traditional Cypriot flavour, you can make Vassilopita, a traditional cake  with a coin inside, to be eaten on the 1st of January, the day of Saint Basil.

I hope you like the pie and, most of all,  I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration and a fantastic start of 2012. May all your dreams come true next year, and may you always have illusions to create new dreams!

See you in 2012!

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