Royal Recipes by Carolyn Robb: Chocolate, Pear & Pistachio Slice
CHOCOLATE, PEAR AND PISTACHIO SLICE
This slice has a lovely chocolate shortbread base (not too sweet!) The topping benefits from the freshly grated orange zest, giving it a lovely flavour and aroma! You can slice the pears or use pear halves. This can be made in a square, rectangular or round tin! This is one of my favourite fruit desserts to make. It’s quite delicious!
1 x 23cm square tin
For the base:
60g golden superfine sugar
150g all purpose flour
20g unsweetened dark cocoa powder
5ml pure vanilla extract
30g dark chocolate drops
For the topping:
120g superfine sugar
120g pistachios – finely ground
30g all purpose flour
2 large free range eggs
zest of 1 orange
2 large pears, peeled and sautéed or roasted in 1 TBSP of butter and 2 TBSP superfine sugar.
(Or canned pears?)
30g dark chocolate for decoration
a few extra pistachios for decoration – finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line the tin with baking parchment. Make the base: place the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa and vanilla in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the chocolate drops and process a little more. Remove the dough from the bowl, bring it together by hand and press it into the baking tray. Bake for 12- 15 minutes.
Make the topping. Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and cream together. Add the eggs and brandy and finely grate the orange zest directly into the bowl then process a little more.
Spread the pistachio mixture onto the chocolate base. Slice the pears and arrange them on top. Bake at 180’C for 20 – 25 minutes.
When cool decorate with lines of melted dark chocolate and sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios. Can be served warm or chilled from the fridge.
Pears bring back wonderfully happy memories of my time as a royal chef. Poached pears were a great favourite. There were many growing in the garden which I bottled to ensure that we had a year-round supply. This slice is the perfect combination of rich chocolate pastry, creamy pistachio frangipane, and carefully poached pears. Dark chocolate with pears and pistachios is a combination fit for a king. The rich, dark chocolate shortbread base is topped with pears and enveloped in a delicately flavored, beautiful green pistachio frangipane. Serve cold or gently warmed either as a dessert or as a special treat with a cup of tea or coffee.
Carolyn’s story is very much a fairytale; from cooking by her Mum’s side in South Africa, to standing in front of Buckingham Palace at the age of nine and whispering to her father that one day she would cook for British Royalty, to becoming the youngest and first female Personal Chef to Prince Charles and his family, all while living at Kensington Palace in London. Carolyn absolutely loves to inspire all to treat family and friends to a Royal Touch! Happily, Harry & David has partnered with Royal Chef Carolyn Robb in which all desserts are immediately available online. Carolyn’s journey continues as a single mom of two little girls; Lucy and Mandy, and being a true entrepreneur.