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A classic French patisserie with a twist!

So am back in the kitchen today! This time for something a little more complex, complex but not complicated. It just involves a few processes but the outcome looks spectacular. A dinner party winner for sure.

So this dessert is called A Millefeuille of poached pear in ginger syrup with a cream of chestnut mousseline and a ginger vanilla caramel sauce.

My absolute favourite sweet treat are Marron Glace (candied chestnuts), so I've used a puree of candied chestnuts which has an earthy smoky but sweet taste. I love it! I found these in a french supermarket, I not only love the contents but the tins look ever so vintage cool

So I recommend trying this recipe.

You'll need to collect the following:

Poached pears

2 conference pears

100ml white port or brandy

500ml water

1/2 vanilla pod

10cm length of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped into 1/2cm cubes

1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey

1 knob of butter

1 sprinkle of sugar

Boil water, port, agave, vanilla and ginger for 5 mins.

Peel pears and half them, place in the poaching liquid.

Gently boil for 30mins until pears are soft. Leave in the liquid to cool, the pears will become translucent and soft, so handle gently. Once cooled, remove pears and set aside. Boil the poaching liquid and ginger down to a syrup.

Slice the pears and finish in a frying pan with a knob of butter and sprinkle of sugar until pears brown slightly. Set aside to cool.

Chestnut mousseline

3 egg yokes

300ml milk

2 tablespoons cornflour

100g puree of chestnut

200g butter at room temp

Beat the egg yokes with cornflour. Mix in 100g puree of chestnuts.

In a thick bottomed saucepan, bring 300ml of milk to the boil. Take off the heat and add to the yoke and puree mix. Whisk all together well and then quickly return to the saucepan. Gently re-heat until gently boiling, keep stirring for another 2 minutes. This should now be of a thick consistency. Remove from the heat and mix in 100g of butter.

Place this into a dish to cool.

Once completely cool, mix the remaining 100g butter with an electric whisk.

Cover and place in the fridge to chill.

Puff pastry

Cut 3x10cm circles of puff pastry per serving, I use ready made pastry.

Prick with a fork and place on greaseproof paper in a pre-heated oven at 180c.

Bake until golden brown.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with sugar and with a torch melt the sugar.

Ginger Caramel Sauce

100g caster sugar

50ml ginger poaching liquid

50g butter

2 tablespoons thick double cream

To make caramel, you must NOT take a spoon to the sugar!! YOU MUST NOT!

In a small saucepan, place the sugar and over a low heat melt the sugar, keep watching it. If you stir this, it will crystallise and the caramel will not work. Once the sugar has all melted and is golden brown, remove from the heat and leave for 10mins to cool and add 50ml of the ginger poaching liquid. Add the butter and cream and stir well. Set aside to cool.

This dessert is served chilled. So all elements must be cold!

Place one puff pastry disk on a plate. Layer up the pears and then place a second pastry disk on top. Using a piping bag, pipe the mousseline in small balls around the edge of the pastry and place the 3rd sugar coated pastry on the top and decorate the top with mousseline and a touch of sugar work. Decorate the edges of the plate with poached pears, the ginger cubes and finish with ginger caramel.

Voila! It tastes G O R G E O U S

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