Salted Caramel, Poached Pear and Chocolate Drizzle Tray Bake
Oozy dulche de leche, poached pears, drizzled chocolate, mascarpone and walnuts - an autumnal dessert dream. This easy and impressive tray bake is perfect for a casual dinner party where everyone can just get stuck in. Simply spread the uncooked meringue mixture over a lined baking tray and cook for 1 hour. Then swirl and drizzle on the toppings in Jackson Pollock style. To save time, you can use tinned pears, but they won’t have the amazing flavour and texture that these will have.
|1||batch of uncooked Meringue Girls Mixture (see recipe link in method below)|
|2||tbsp good-quality dark cocoa powder|
|4||firm but ripe pears|
|1||small tin of dulce de leche or Carnation caramel sauce|
|A large pinch||of Maldon sea salt|
|1||large tub of mascarpone|
|100g||walnuts halves, toasted|
|100g||70% dark chocolate, melted, for drizzling|
|For the pear poaching liquid:|
|5 tbsp||granulated sugar|
Make your meringue mixture with the recipe here.
Preheat your oven to 100°C/gas 1/4, and line a small baking sheet with baking paper. Stick the paper down with blobs of meringue. Fold the dark cocoa powder through the meringue mixture, taking care not to lose any volume.
Spoon the mixture over the baking sheet, spreading it out evenly into a rough A4 rectangle shape. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the base of the meringue disc comes off the baking tray with ease. Let it cool - don’t worry if it cracks, as you’ll be smothering it with deliciousness.
While the meringue base is baking, prepare the poaching liquid. Bring the water to boil in a small heavy-bottomed pan, then add the sugar and cinnamon stick and bring to the boil again.
While the poaching liquid is heating up, peel the pears, core and slice into quarters, leaving the stalks on for effect. Carefully place the pears into the sugar syrup and poach gently for 15 minutes. Check the pears are soft by sticking a knife in them. Leave to poach a little longer if they are still hard. When they are ready, carefully lift out the pears with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
Carefully place the meringue disc on a rustic wooden board. Add a large pinch of sea salt to your dulce de leche (or caramel sauce). Get your creative juices flowing and dollop with mascarpone, swirl with the salted caramel, layer the pears and toasted walnuts over the meringue, then drizzle with the melted dark chocolate.
The meringue tray bake (without any toppings or sauces) will keep for 2 weeks, in an airtight container, stored in a cool, dry place.