Chocolate, Pear and Banana Clafoutis

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There’s been hassle in the head, but the kitchen binds all tassles of stress and chucks it out to the cold. I surmise it’s the cold, sometimes, that keeps me going. It’s a wakeup call, like a cold shower first thing in the morning.

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A chocolate, pear and banana clafoutis, packed with molten chocolate and moist, plump pear. To be eaten à la mode.

Rusticity once more, with wreaths of sugar, chocolate and love. There is a lot going for this clafoutis, and my favourite bits, edges aside, are the moist, pear juice-saturated bits of clafoutis right up next to the cooked pear. Forkable business, that. A past Saturday spent with someone special saw a rapid finishing of this beauty to enhance all that fun and whimsy, reminding me of all the times and things we take for granted or misunderstand. Guess it’s always good to stop and smell the roses, stop blurring the edges of pain with the fastest remedy. And this clafoutis is a remedy, to be enjoyed slowly, during and after, a candle in the wind. It’s just up to you what to make of that occasional sweet event.

I tend to vacillate between wanting the simple and complex. Usually it’s the former, with some variation/hop/twist/flicker. Chocolate and pear is a classic combination, and the banana adds a moist, sweet dimension without being too easily detected. Not that the flavour doesn’t pair well, but the mildest hint of it enhances and doesn’t shadow the two stars. Although I used a pan instead of the more desirable cast iron skillet, the edges still turned out very crispy, and yes I can vouch that I shall attain the crispiest ever result in time when I earn enough (ha ha). The clafoutis itself retained a lovely almost pudding-like consistency in the middle, flying the flan flag high and bright.

Served with the simple integrity of vanilla ice cream, this is the perfect breakfast, dessert, or in-betweener.

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Chocolate, Pear and Banana Clafoutis (makes one 9-inch wide pan)


2 large pears, peeled, cored and quartered

240ml milk of choice (whole/plant-based preferably)

65g white sugar

2 bananas, mashed

1 egg (sub: another mashed banana)

100g chopped dark chocolate, split into two portions

50g plain flour



Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and butter a large iron cast skillet or pan (as I did). Lay your quartered pear in a ring in the pan so the tops all face and touch at the middle.

In a bowl, whisk together almost everything else– the flour, sugar, bananas, one portion of dark chocolate and milk. Pour this over the pears, making sure that there’s an even amount of batter between each quarter. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate on top.

Bake for 35 minutes, then remove and let cool for at least 10 before tucking in with something cold like ice cream or creamy like custard. What a star show.

Gin-roasted stuffed pears with yoghurt

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I call it a grand break. A super grand one. I don’t want to sound hubristic, but damn this was one irresistible breakfast.

I like sticking with familiarity on most days– oats, toast, my beloved french toast. The classic stuff. But sometimes change awakens and broadens your horizons, and what oftentimes seems like an alarming shock to the system turns out to be inspiriting.

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So you buy a pear. That’s the first step. The first step in this magical process.

Take a knife, cut it in half. Then take a melon baller and core it, or be like Alex and not actually have one of those, and use a knife instead to cut out little half=spheres from each half. Chop up some almonds and dark chocolate (because chocolate and pears! Unfortunately the picture above was before the chocolate stuffing bit), then stuff the middles with the mix.

Then you roast it with gin, cinnamon and honey. After some research, I found that roasting something for 15 minutes retains the most (around 40% of whatever you’re using) alcohol, so I tested it, and it turned out sublime.

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Then you eat this lump of caramelised, tender deliciousness with thick Greek yoghurt, drizzled with whatever you want. That day in particular necessitated honey, a little almond butter and this divine mango chutney that a friend recently purchased for me (hi Claire!!).

The warm, firm yet soft pear complements the creaminess and sourness of the yoghurt just perfectly. Nuts provide crunch, the cocoa and cinnamon add a sultry dimension, one of apt luxury.

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Gin-roasted stuffed pears with yoghurt (serves 1, but can be scaled up or down)


1 firm pear (Bartlett/ Concorde)

4 tbsp unflavoured or flavoured gin (I used gooseberry which is sweeter, so you might need less with something unflavoured/stronger)

small handful (around 1 oz or 28g in total) of chopped almonds and dark chocolate

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp honey

80-100g yoghurt (of course this bit is completely up to you, but this ratio works well)

topping options: honey, maple syrup, berries, more nuts



Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Cut and core your pear (or, as I said earlier, be like me and forgo the melon baller, instead using the same knife to just cut half-spheres in each pear half).

Add one tablespoon of gin to each ‘hole’, and leave for around 30 seconds to let the pear soak it up. Then add your mix of chopped almonds and chocolate to each half. After filling, add one tablespoon of gin to each half again, drizzling all over the pear. Sprinkle on the cinnamon and drizzle the pear with honey.

Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes, no more and no less. If your pears don’t lie flat, use a knife to cut a little bit off the backs of the pear halves so that they do.

Remove from oven and serve with yoghurt, together with whatever toppings you want!