“All you need is love.
But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
~ Charles M. Schulz
A Fabulous Gift to Give and Receive
High quality chocolate truffles are a chocolate lover’s dream come true. Made from only a few simple but perfect ingredients—good chocolate, heavy cream and a bit of butter—truffles impart their pure chocolatey goodness in one perfect, creamy, heavenly bite. The other great thing about truffles, that you may not know, is that they are fun and easy to make—albeit somewhat of a sweet chocolatey mess (which, of course, is the kind of problem one wishes to encounter more of in life). If you can bear to give any away, these Dark Chocolate Truffles make a lovely gift.
I love almonds in all of their forms: I love munching on them raw for a snack; I love using them in baking and I love them in savoury cooking. Many recipes call for blanched almonds, sliced almonds or almond flour. All of these products are widely available for purchase but if you have the time and inclination they’re also all very easy to make yourself.
I like to make my own blanched almonds simply because I really enjoy the process. For me, the easy, repetitious act of peeling and slicing almonds is rather meditative. Also, I find that my homemade blanched almonds are much fresher than the commercially prepared ones and they’re a lot more economical.
This recipe is adapted from an excellent recipe by pastry chef David Lebovitz. And like his Red Wine Poached Pear Tart,his French Pear & Almond Tart is an incredibly delicious dessert—arguably my current all time favourite dessert ever. If you love the flavour of vanilla, pears and sweet almond (with notes of kirsch-soaked sour cherries popping in here and there), one bite of this tart and you’ll be transported into a heavenly realm, leaving you in a pleasantly speechless stupor.
Warning: An overload of pleasure neurons firing simultaneously in the brain may cause some guests to swoon or faint after sampling this dessert. It is advisable to keep smelling salts on hand when serving.
Be further advised that some guests may refuse to leave your home, or may appear camped out on your doorstep the next morning, begging for more.