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White Chocolate-Crowned Hazelnut Biscotti Pears

From Icewine: Extreme Winemaking by Donald Ziraldo (Key Porter Books, $69)


The velvety texture of white chocolate and crunchy biscotti coat a luscious pear. The exotic surprise inside of Icewine-laced mascarpone cheese finishes it exquisitely.

Serves 6

Ingredients
½ c                  unsalted butter, room temperature (125 mL)
1 c                   sugar (250 mL)
2                      eggs
1 tsp                pure vanilla extract (5 mL)
1 tsp                orange zest (5 mL)
2 c                   all-purpose flour (500 mL)
pinch               salt
1 c                   hazelnuts, finely chopped
6                      Bosc pears
1/3 c               mascarpone cheese (80 mL)
1 Tbsp                        Vidal Icewine (15 mL)
1 c                   coarse sugar, for coating (250 mL)
4 oz                 white chocolate (100 g)
4 tsp                whipping cream (20 mL)

Method
To make biscotti dough, BEAT butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. ADD vanilla and orange zest and continue beating until creamy. WHISK flour, baking powder and salt together. ADD to butter mixture and MIX until well incorporated. ADD chopped hazelnuts and MIX by hand until just combined. Set aside.

SLICE bottom of pears so they sit upright. With a paring knife, REMOVE core from the bottom, leaving pears intact. WHISK mascarpone with Icewine and DIVIDE between pear cavities. Sit pears upright on a baking sheet and PRESS biscotti dough over the entire pear to seal it. COAT each pear with raw sugar and place on a baking sheet.

BAKE at 325 F (160 C) for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. ALLOW to cool. Meanwhile, MELT the white chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pot of hot water. When chocolate is completely melted, ADD whipping cream and WHISK until smooth. SPOON white chocolate on top of the pear and allow it to run down the sides. SERVE at room temperature.

SERVE with chilled Oak-Aged Vidal or Sparkling Icewine.



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