Toasted gingerbread with barbecued pears and caramel

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time75 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the gingerbread

120g butter
100g granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
240ml treacle
225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
240ml hot water
240ml caramel sauce, recipe follows

For the caramel sauce

200g granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
60g butter
30ml double cream

For the pears

3 French butter pears
30ml orange juice
6 slices gingerbread, recipe follows
6 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish
For the gingerbread:
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour 2 loaf tins.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the egg and treacle. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk until mixed. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix. Add 1/3 of the hot water and mix. Continue alternating dry ingredients and water in thirds until all is incorporated.

3) Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 45 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

For the caramel sauce:
1) Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook until the sugar is melted and takes on a dark golden colour.

2) Add the butter and cream and whisk until smooth. Be very careful not to splash yourself, caramel is extremely hot! Leave to cool about 30 minutes, until thickened.

For the pears:
1) Preheat a barbecue to medium heat.

2) Cut the pears in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to remove the seeds and core. Brush the pears with orange juice and place on the barbecue cut side down. Let the pears cook until they are lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.

3) As the pears are cooking, place the gingerbread on the barbecue and lightly toast on each side. Remove the pears and the gingerbread from the barbecue.

To assemble:
1) Place the toasted gingerbread on a plate. Slice the pears and arrange them on top of the gingerbread.

2) Drizzle with caramel sauce and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

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