Decadent yet simple recipe for Pear and Almond Tartlets with Chocolate Ganache

two squares of Woolworths butter puff pastry (as pastry is the star here, it really is worth spending a bit more and getting an all-butter puff)
3 pears
marzipan (or persipan)
3 tbs butter, melted
1 tbs castor sugar
3 tbs apricot jam, melted
70ml cream
100g dark chocolate
50g flaked almonds, toasted
icing sugar, for dusting

How to
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Toast the almond flakes in a dry hot pan or the warm oven until they’re golden. Remove and set aside. Using a tea cup as a guide, cut eight circles out of the pastry sheets. Roll eight small balls of marzipan (about one teaspoon of marzipan per ball). Press marzipan balls flat with a rolling pin. You want them about the size of a R5 coin. (If you dust your board and pin with some icing sugar, they will not stick.) Place a flat round of marzipan on each pastry circle.

Slice the pears very thinly lengthwise and fan pear slices out on the pastry circle. Brush pears with a bit of butter and sprinkle very lightly with some castor sugar. Bake on a non-stick baking tray until the pastry is golden and the pears are soft. As soon as they come out the oven, brush the pastries with some melted apricot jam. Sprinkle with the almond flakes, pipe over some chocolate ganache, dust with icing sugar for the pretty. Serve warm with sweetened, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. If you want to continue the whole chocolate and almond theme, serve it with some Woolies Tin Roof ice cream. It’s one of my faves.

For the ganache:
Whip up the ganache while the pastries are cooking. Simply heat the cream in a pot or the micro – do not boil it! Remove from the heat and break in the chocolate. Let it melt and stir until it’s shiny smooth. To make an instant disposable piping bag, simply place the ganache in a plastic sandwich bag. Make a tiny hole in one corner and there you have it. Piping made super easy.

Recipe by Lizet Hartley, courtesy of Melkkos & Merlot, a bilingual blog about food.

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