Monday, 6 December 2010

Pear and butterscotch clafouti

Clafouti was originally made with cherries, but has developed far further and now includes all sorts of fruit. I love it, as a simple, quick to make and incredibly elegant dessert.

Traditional cherry clafouti includes a splash of kirsch. I decided to make a pear clafouti this time around - decided by having a surfeit of eggs in the house, and a large tin of pears at hand. To add a little extra twist, I had a think about flavours and concluded that butterscotch schnapps might just work. And indeed it does - the butterscotch schnapps being quite a warm creamy flavour it worked well with the custard and contrasted with the slightly crisper sharper edge of the pear.

Now I am sure a purist would use freshly sliced pears for this recipe, but then again, a purist wouldn't be allowing butterscotch schnapps anywhere either, so they can go be purist and we can enjoy the fruits of our experimental labours. Tinned pears mean that you can create this delicious dessert at any time of the year or day of the week. If you do use fresh pears, peel and core them, and slice them thinly.


5 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (I make my own by keeping my vanilla bean pods in the sugar jar)
1/2 cup sifted flour
1 and a half tablespoons butterscotch schnapps
1 cup (250ml) cream (normal 35% fat cream is fine; occasionally I even use sour cream)
3 extra tablespoons of caster sugar
1 large tin of pears, drained


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Take a large ceramic or glass pie dish (a gratin dish will do at a pinch). Grease the bottom with the butter and sprinkle it with the caster sugar; shake the dish to get an even spread of sugar.

Place the eggs and vanilla sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy Sprinkle on the flour, add the cream and the butterscotch schnapps and mix with the whisk to combine well.

Arrange the pears around the dish in an attractive pattern. Pour the batter over the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until set. Allow to cool, and serve sprinkled lightly with sugar, with or without icecream.

Chocolate Caramel Slice

This is a bit of an Aussie classic, and is totally rich and sweet and addictive. I took a tray of these to a potluck the other night. My friend Kate tried one and decided that she was skipping all the other food at the party (quiches, salads, crumbles and pies) and was going to eat nothing but these for her dinner!

2 cups self raising flour
250g butter
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
1 cup fine sugar

Caramel Layer
2 tins of sweetened condensed milk (around 400g each)
60 grams of butter
60mls (4 tablespoons)golden syrup

300g dark chocolate
40g copha/vegetable shortening


Turn the oven on to warm up, to 180 degrees. Start by making the base. Put all the dry base ingredients in a bowl. Melt the butter, allow to cool a little and then mix into the dry ingredients. Line the base of a baking dish with baking paper (allowing the paper to go up two sides to help you get the slice our later). Tip the base into the tin and spread and press down with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until lightly golden. Cool.

While the base is baking, start the caramel - put all the ingredients in a pot and heat them, stirring continuously for 8-10 minutes - it will thicken and go golden. Pour over the biscuit base and spread out to ensure the base is covered. Cool until set (this will take 3 or 4 hours in the fridge).
Then, in a double boiler, heat the chocolate and copha and stir together till melted and pourable. Pour over the caramel and biscuit, and then cool again. Cut into squares to serve.