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Chocolate and pears at River Cottage

Scrumptious

Scrumptious

This chocolate tart with grilled pears is too delicious not to share. Serve with pride and a spoonful of crème fraiche.

By Gelf Alderson, executive head chef of River Cottage

Serves 6-8

For the pastry:

75g coconut oil
55g golden syrup
75g ground linseeds
185g ground almonds
15g cocoa powder

Melt the coconut oil and golden syrup, add the dry ingredients mix thoroughly and press into 20 cm tart case, freeze until solid.

For the filling:

80ml olive oil room temperature
500g dark chocolate
200ml almond milk, room temperature
75ml Somerset cider brandy
A pinch of fine sea salt

Grilled pears:

4 firm pears such as conference or comice

Gently melt the chocolate in a bain marie over a sauce pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before adding the oil and almond milk, a pinch of salt and the brandy. Mix thoroughly and pour into the tart case. Re-fridgerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, halve and core four pears. Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Cook the pears until lightly charred and tender but still holding their shape. Serve with ice cream or crème fraiche.

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Pretty as a picture

Wild, pretty, tasty. And free.

Wild, pretty, tasty. And free.

Wild rhubarb compote, lemon sorbet and wood sorrel

I can't resist sharing this recipe by Scott Goss, executive chef at I'll be Mother, which is in the June/July issue of Good Things Magazine. Wood sorrel is easily spotted in early Summer as it has beautiful, fresh green, heart-shaped leaves and delicate white, pink-veined flowers. It forms distinctive clumps in woodlands and shady hedgerows. Tasting of juicy green apples and lemon, it's mouth-puckeringly delicious.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 sticks of wild (or cultivated) rhubarb
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
100g ginger biscuits, bashed to a crumb

Lemon sorbet
250g caster sugar
4 lemons juiced
250ml water

Handful of wood sorrel and fennel fronds

Method:
Dissolve sugar and water in a pan, allow to cool and add the lemon juice. Add a little lemon zest for extra tang

Once the lemon sugar water is cool, churn it in an ice cream mixer or put in a shallow tray in the freezer and mix every half an hour for three hours

Lightly stew the sliced rhubarb, sugar and water for a few minutes until just soften. Blitz with a stick blender

To plate:
In each serving bowl, place a tablespoon of ginger biscuit crumb, just enough to sit a scoop of sorbet on. Spoon in a tablespoon of rhubarb compote and go crazy with the wood sorrel and fennel fronds. A few microplane thin slices of raw wild rhubarb will finish the dish with a lovely sharpness.

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