2018 KEEN YOUNG COOK FINALIST: NEEVE DUNSMUIR

Pear & Chocolate Mille Feuille

"I like the combinations of pears and chocolate and I have a pear tree in my garden with delicious pears. We learnt how to make ruff puff pastry and I really enjoyed it and I was very successful. I made up this recipe with my food teacher and practiced many times. I found all the textures worked well together and it has a very sweet flavour. I thought it was good mixing the pears and chocolate together."

Ingredients

  • 125g plain flour

  • Pinch salt

  • 75g butter or margarine

  • 75ml cold water

  • ½ tsp lemon juice

  • 200g dark chocolate

  • 100ml double cream

  • 4 pears

  • 100g sugar (for poaching)

Method

  1. Sift flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut the butter into even sized cubes and stir into the flour without breaking up the pieces.

  2. Add the cold water and lemon juice to mix to a fairly stiff dough.

  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into an oblong, three times as long as it is wide.

  4. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up, as if folding a letter. Turn around so that the folded edges are at the sides. Seal the ends of the pastry with a rolling pin.

  5. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the freezer for at least 5 minutes. 

  6. Repeat this rolling and folding process three more times.

  7. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for as long as possible before using.

  8. Boil cream, add chocolate and leave to cool.

  9. Peel pears and poach in a sugar syrup until soft.

  10. Roll into a rectangle and cut into 6 rectangles.

  11. Bake at 220°C (Electric oven | Electric fan oven 200°C | Gas Mark 7) for 15 minutes.

  12. Leave to cool.

  13. Fill the pastry with chocolate cream and pears, drizzle melted chocolate over the top.

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