Chocolate Iced Mille-Feuilles from Neven Maguires Irish Food Trails

 This dessert looks so impressive that it’s hard to believe that you’ve actually made it yourself with such little effort. It can be made up to 1 month in advance, leaving nothing for you to do on the day.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 x 100g (4oz) bar of plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 150g (5oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 225ml (8fl oz) cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • good-quality cocoa powder, to dust
  • fresh raspberries, to serve

To Cook

Use a little water to dampen a 450g (1lb) loaf tin (the more square shaped, the better), then line with a double layer of cling film. Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

Melt the plain chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Spoon half the melted chocolate onto each sheet of baking paper and spread it out to the edges in a thin layer. Put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set.

Melt the white chocolate and 5 tablespoons of the cream in a separate heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, give it a good stir and set aside to cool.

Whip the rest of the cream in a large bowl with the vanilla seeds until the cream is just holding its shape, then fold in the cooled melted white chocolate.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white and icing sugar until stiff peaks have formed, then fold into the white chocolate mixture.

Carefully peel the plain chocolate from the baking paper and break it up into pieces.

Place a couple spoonfuls of the whipped cream mixture into the prepared loaf tin and cover with a layer of the plain chocolate pieces. Repeat the layers until the loaf tin is filled up, finishing with a layer of whipped cream. Cover the top with cling film and freeze overnight (or up to 1 month). Any remaining pieces of plain chocolate can be put into a freezer-proof container and frozen separately to use for decoration.

About 1 hour before serving, transfer the loaf tin and reserved chocolate decoration to the fridge.

Serving Suggestions

To serve, carefully turn out onto a serving plate and peel away the cling film. Break up the reserved plain chocolate into small jagged pieces and use to decorate the top. Add a light dusting of cocoa powder and put straight on the table. Cut into slices and arrange on plates with some raspberries

 

Neven’s Rustic Pear and Hazelnut Tarts

These tarts are absolutely perfect for a relaxed Sunday lunch. They can be made in the morning and left covered with cling film in the fridge. Pop them into the oven before sitting down to the main course and they will be in about half an hour.

Serves 4

Cooking time:

Preparation time:

Ingredients

  • 5 firm ripe pears
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 heaped tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • Crème fraîche, to serve
  • Honey, to serve

For the Pastry

  • 225g (8oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 150g (5oz) butter, chilled and diced
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

To Cook

To make the pastry, place the flour in a large bowl with the salt and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then bring the pastry together with the egg (it may also need 1 tablespoon of cold water if it’s a little dry). Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes (or overnight is fine).

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

Peel, core and slice the pears and put them in a bowl. Toss them in the lemon juice, then toss with the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.

On a lightly floured board, cut the pastry into 4 even-sized pieces. Roll each piece of pastry out to a rough circle about 15cm (6in) in diameter and no more than 5mm (¼in) thick. Carefully transfer to the lined baking sheets. Arrange the pears in the middle of each one and scatter the hazelnuts on top, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) border. Using the sides of the baking paper to help lift the pastry, fold the sides up and over the pears. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 30–40 minutes, until the tarts are cooked through and golden.

Serving Suggestions

Dust with icing sugar and arrange on plates. Add dollops of crème fraîche and a drizzle of honey to each one to serve.

 

Neven’s Rustic Pear and Hazelnut Tarts

These tarts are absolutely perfect for a relaxed Sunday lunch. They can be made in the morning and left covered with cling film in the fridge. Pop them into the oven before sitting down to the main course and they will be in about half an hour.

Serves 4

Cooking time:

Preparation time:

Ingredients

  • 5 firm ripe pears
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 heaped tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • Crème fraîche, to serve
  • Honey, to serve

For the Pastry

  • 225g (8oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 150g (5oz) butter, chilled and diced
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

To Cook

To make the pastry, place the flour in a large bowl with the salt and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then bring the pastry together with the egg (it may also need 1 tablespoon of cold water if it’s a little dry). Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes (or overnight is fine).

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

Peel, core and slice the pears and put them in a bowl. Toss them in the lemon juice, then toss with the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.

On a lightly floured board, cut the pastry into 4 even-sized pieces. Roll each piece of pastry out to a rough circle about 15cm (6in) in diameter and no more than 5mm (¼in) thick. Carefully transfer to the lined baking sheets. Arrange the pears in the middle of each one and scatter the hazelnuts on top, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) border. Using the sides of the baking paper to help lift the pastry, fold the sides up and over the pears. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 30–40 minutes, until the tarts are cooked through and golden.

Serving Suggestions

Dust with icing sugar and arrange on plates. Add dollops of crème fraîche and a drizzle of honey to each one to serve.