Chocolate Cinnamon and Pear Tart
50g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
100g plain flour
50g caster sugar
2 pears, fresh or canned
Icing sugar for dusting
100g dark chocolate, melted
2 eggs, separated
100g caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine ingredients for the pastry in a food processor until well mixed, wrap pastry in cling film, then chill in fridge for 20 minutes. Heat oven to 180C/ Fan forced 160C. Grease a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin with butter.
2. Peel fresh pears and poach them for 15 minutes in simmering water, then drain. If using canned ones simply drain.
3. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Dust to work surface with icing sugar and roll the pastry out to a 28cm circle approximately 5mm thick. Place the pastry in the tart tin; press it gently around the sides and trim. Prick the bottom over with a fork.
4. Bake the pastry blind for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile make the filling. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to coll slightly. Beat the egg yolks and mascarpone until pale and creamy. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper and mix well. Pour in the cooled chocolate and stir well. Whisk the egg whites to form soft peaks. Fold them lightly into the chocolate mixture using a metal spoon until well incorporated.
6. Remove pastry case from oven and discard the paper and beans. Cut each pear into eight thick slices. Arrange the slices in a circle on the pastry. Top with the chocolate filling and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. The top should feel firm to touch. Leave to cool.