What could be more elegant during the holiday season than a chocolate, almond & pistachio tart filled with a creamy, dreamy mascarpone filling & then topped with Malbec poached pears & the most heavenly Malbec molasses?
PIN IT to save for later.
I always come to this little space with the intentions of bringing you new and tasty creations regularly. But life continues to throw obstacles my way and these intentions get pushed to the wayside. I could apologize for this and promise that I will get better, but in the end I don’t want to force what was not meant to be. Instead, I will re-adjust my goals and try my best to bring you interesting recipes that are paired with entertaining stories and pretty photos. This may mean that you see a new post weekly, biweekly or monthly. . .but I can’t make any promises, and I refuse to compromise on the quality of this space for the sake of quantity. I hope you do understand.
As for this absence. . .well I was working on a cake for Breast Cancer Awareness month. This was going to be one of my more special cakes because I was making it in honor of our beloved little kitty we lost this March to a long and heroic battle with breast cancer.
Given the emotional relevance, the pressure to deliver a momentous cake was intense.
I had the design of this cake completely drawn out, incorporating some of her favorite flavors – chocolate & coffee. I know, it’s weird. And before you get ready to lecture me that this is not food fit for a kitty, know that we did not intentionally give her these things. We merely discovered by accident that she had a passion for them, and if we didn’t guard them with our lives, she would inhale them faster than you could blink an eye.
But, even though I had the design completely planned out, I just couldn’t seem to muster up the strength to bring it to life. It seemed that every time I made plans to start bringing this cake to reality, my heart would put an abrupt stop to it. The wounds from the loss of this little sweetie were still too raw and I found myself practicing avoidance so that I would not have to face the reality of her death.
It was also hard because this is the time of year that her health took a turn for the worse. Last November, when I was on a penguin research project in Patagonia, the cancer decided it was time to consume her little body with an even more fierce vengeance, transforming her once chubby frame into the slender body she had not seen since kitten hood . Of course, we had every hope that this was only a temporary setback and once her chemotherapy treatments were over, she would be back to her squishy, roly poly self. But such was not meant to be.
I finally managed to set my heartbreak aside. I mean, this was an important cake. It was not meant to be something that caused great anxiety, but rather was meant to celebrate her life and all the love that she provided to everyone she met. But, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I had a couple of additional obstacles with this cake that led to further delays. Okay. . .I flat out broke a couple of the layers and had to remake them.
Given all these delays, I decided that it was probably best to save this cake for the anniversary of her death. So, I carefully wrapped the layers and tucked them away into the freezer. My plans now are to bring you this very special cake in March.
In the meantime, I made you this elegant chocolate, almond, pistachio tart stuffed with a creamy mascarpone filling which I then topped with Malbec Poached Pears and a lovely Malbec Molasses. The Malbec Molasses alone is so heavenly that I dare say you will be looking for excuses to drizzle it on just about anything and everything that comes your way. But that’s okay. It will do nothing but elevate your oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, holiday pork, apple pies, bubble baths. . .whatever you chose. Okay, maybe it is a bit too sticky for a bath, but you get the point.
I tend to like my tart crusts more on the nutty side so when I was dreaming up this Poached Pears Tart, I wanted to include two different kinds of nuts. Almonds are my all time favorite, so it was a no brainer to include them. I thought pistachios would also lend a unique and unexpected flavor, but you can use just about any nut that tickles your fancy. Whatever nut you chose for this Poached Pears Tart, the end result will be a delicate crust that is very cookie-like in taste and texture. And just between you and I. . . I could easily scarf down the crust sans pears.
But we can’t leave the crust naked, now can we? So, I added a cloud of mascarpone on this Poached Pears Tart. It really provides a nice light and creamy texture, making this Poached Pears tart all the more dreamy. And to brighten it up a tad, I added in a sprinkling of lemon zest.
As for the stars of the shows, well, this teensy weensy Bosc pears are poached in the most heavenly Malbec syrup ever to grace the planet. I used a fairly inexpensive, easily accessible Malbec wine (this is not a sponsored post, but I used this wine in case you want to duplicate this tart exactly), but really, you could use just about any dry red wine that you pleased. And to give it even more dimension, I infused the syrup with some vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest.
And last, but certainly not least, once these poached pears were all dressed up in their rich and elegant red glory, I boiled the syrup down until it was transformed into the most divine molasses. I drizzled some on top of this tart, but fortunately I have enough left that I will continue to drizzle this little dose of heaven onto my oatmeal and yogurt long into the holidays.
I don’t know what is on your holiday baking list, but I strongly suggest that you make room for this beauty as it tastes as heavenly as it looks and will surely impress all your guests.
P.S. Awwww! Leaving so soon? Well, I’m going to miss you. But, if you must leave, I would love for you to take a few more seconds and join The Road to Honey family. All you need to do is enter your email address in the box in the upper right hand corner on this site. This will guarantee that you are one of the firsts to see any new posts from the Road to Honey. Oh. . .and you can rest assured I will never, ever share your e-mail with anyone else – pinky swear.