Honey Baked Pears with Chocolate, Hazelnuts and Cantucci are elegant enough to round off an informal dinner party but require very little hands-on preparation time.
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY FATTORIA LA VIALLA. ALL OPINIONS AND TEXT ARE MY OWN.
A few days ago I left you hanging. There you were, enjoying an appetiser and main from me and then I put the brakes on, telling you there would be a short delay for afters. Sometimes I can be so cruel. However, the waiting is over. To go with my easy to prepare, informal dinner-party worthy first and second courses, I'm finally ready to pull pudding out of the bag.
You'll be pleased to hear that, yet again, I have a recipe that requires very little of your time in the kitchen. These Honey Baked Pears with Chocolate, Hazelnuts and Cantucci look the part to round off a swanky dinner with friends but they can be pulled together in a snap.
Ingredients for These Baked Pears
Again, I recommend sourcing some quality ingredients, since it will make the difference in this simple bake. Pick some already tender pears and team them up with quality chocolate sauce or even a chocolate spread. Likewise, hunt out some authentic Cantucci (Italian Almond Biscuits).
I was lucky enough to have Fattoria La Vialla's Cantucci and a jar of their delectable Viallella (hazelnut & cocoa cream) to hand when I made these baked pears with chocolate. The biscuits are decidedly crunchy and, when not being used to adorn baked pears, suit a glass of sweet dessert wine very well as a brilliantly laid back dessert.
But let me tell you more about the hazelnut and cocoa cream, which contains not just an adundance of hazelnuts and cocoa but also, wait for it... olive oil and honey. This cream is the perfect consistency for spreading on bread or toast, filling a cake or for drizzling onto desserts. As expected, it's chocolately and nutty, but it's also not overbearingly sweet. Oh, it also has an intoxicating aroma. All in all, it's a jar of pure delight.
The Best Way to Serve Honey Baked Pears with Chocolate
Returning to the Honey Baked Pears, this dessert is intended to be eaten warm, with a little mascarpone if desired. The combination of soft pears, crunchy nuts & Cantucci pieces and the thick, luscious chocolate sauce is a winner. This dessert is ideal after a hearty meal, when something sweet, but not heavy-going is required. A glass of dessert wine, such as Vin Santo, is an ideal tipple to serve alongside it.
I talked quite a bit about Fattoria La Vialla when I introduced my Baked Tomato and Goats Cheese appetiser and Slow Roast Tomatoes, Rocket & Buffalo Mozzarella Pasta recently. They do indeed have a fantastic selection of products available to purchase online - take a look, I'm sure you'll be impressed. But today I'd like to focus on their assortment of gifts. To say it is wide-ranging would be a vast understatement. All tastes and budgets are well catered for.
If you are in the market for something small a trio of stylish and functional stacking cube bottles make a great choice. They come filled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Balsamic Bianco. They have plenty of small, medium and large-sized hampers to choose from too. And all filled with a wonderful assortment of their products.
But for the ultimate foodie gift, they have 3 different advent calendars available:
- The Mini Advent - each day reveals a small sweet treat - either chocolate or biscuit
- The Advent - expect to find anything from a bottle of wine to a salami or a packet of biscuits to a jar of pesto. Nestled alongside each foodie treat is a traditional countryside proverb (in Italian, with translation).
- The Grand Advent - as above, all manner of treats lie hidden behind the doors on this calendar - including a chocolate salami (joy, sweet joy). However, there is a bonus. Once all doors are empty, the box converts into a gorgeous dolls house, themed on a traditional Italian farm and farmhouse. It is an advent calendar like no other.
I was beyond excited to receive the Grand Advent. Being food and drink themed and Italian, it is the advent calendar of my dreams.
Photographing this calendar was a lot of fun and my youngest is now enjoying the dolls house in her bedroom. I suppose Christmas came early for us this year.
Orders for foodie gifts, hampers and advent calendars can be placed online and the team at Fattoria La Vialla are always happy to answer any queries you may have. They are a very friendly bunch. Delivery is free for orders above £75. If wishing to place an order for delivery outside of Europe and the UK, please get in touch with the team at [email protected] since restrictions will apply. Oh, and for those advent calendars, get your order in before 23rd November to ensure delivery in time for opening that initial door on 1st December.
Phew. That's a lot of talking and food from me this week. My trio of easy recipes should leave you well placed to breezily cater for family and friends in the busy months to come.
Honey Baked Pears with Chocolate, hazelnuts & Cantucci
- 6 Small Pears
- 2 tablespoon Honey (runny)
- 1 tablespoon Just boiled water
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 30 g/ 1 oz Halenuts (blanched)
- 4 Cantucci cookies
- 2 tablespoon Chocolate sauce/ spread
- Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F/ GM4 and line a lipped baking tin with parchment
- Peel the pears, slice in half and scoop out the core using a melon baller or a teaspoon. Lay on the parchment
- Mix the honey and just boiled water together in a small jug. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the liquid. Give a good stir then pour over the pears. Turn the pears over in the liquid to ensure they are coated. Add the vanilla pod and bake for 20 minutes until just tender
- Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan (1-2) minutes and roughly chop
- Break up the cantucci into small pieces
- When the pears are ready, scatter the nuts and cantucci pieces over them and drizzle the chocolate sauce over
- Serve warm with a little mascarpone if desired
- These pears do not store well since they begin to discolour within an hour so eat immediately