Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Twelve Desserts of Christmas: On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

...a white chocolate trifle with spiced a pear tree, or a trifle bowl, as you wish.

750ml bottle dry white wine
2 cups pear juice
1/2 C sugar
12 crushed whole cardamon pods
2x 1" cubes of ginger, peeled
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
4 large pears, peeled (I used comice)

Combine all but the pears in a large saucepan and stir over medium high heat. Add pears and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, simmer about 30 minutes. Remove pears, refriderate until cold. Reduce liquid until about 2 cups. Strain out spices, chill until cold.

7 oz white chocolate
1/3 C brandy
1/4 pear juice
dash vanilla essence
1 8oz container tofutti (or mascarpone, if not going reduced dairy, which I did for the party)
1 C whipping cream (I'm not sure what one could substitute here - you could try more tofutti, but that would make a heavier mousse I think. Another option would be to replace 1/2 cream with egg whites, maybe 3 or 4, and beat those separately, then fold in with whipped cream)

Combine white chocolate, brandy, pear juice in top of double boiler. Stir until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, gradually add tofutti, whisking until smooth. Leave to cool. Beat cream until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture in 4 additions. Cover and chill until set, about 3 hours.

Assembling trifle:
Cut pears lengthwise in half, remove cores, cut lengthwise into 1/4" thick slices. I made sponge drops, but you could use ladyfingers - arrange these in the bottom of your trifle dish (glass is best so you can see the layers). Drizzle 5T pear syrup over ladyfingers/sponge. Spread 1/3 mousse on top, then pear slices. Repeat ladyfingers, syrup, mousse and pears 2 more times. Enjoy!

(modified from Bon Appetit magazine)

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