Spiced Pear, Amarula Ganache and Chocolate Roulade
The Marula tree has graced the earth since around 10,000BC, forming part of many age-old legends, a sacred and intricate thread of African culture and heritage.
The local people have revered the Marula tree for hundreds of years, calling it ‘The Elephant Tree’ because its succulent fruit attracts elephants (and many other animals) from miles away. It is also endearingly called ‘The Marriage Tree’, for its enchanting wedding canopy and the marula fruits’ aphrodisiac properties.
Fit for the ancient kings and queens of Africa, who would indulge in the delicious fruit during summer festivals, marula is the magic ingredient in South Africa’s iconic cream liqueur, Amarula. And if it’s fit for royalty, it’s certainly fit to be the hero flavour in our latest decadent dessert creation – Spice Pear, Amarula Ganache and Chocolate Roulade.
This swirl of sweet indulgence is a must-try – prepare it at home and let us know what you think!
Whipped Amarula Ganache
- 1¾ cup chopped White Couverture Chocolate
- ¾ cup Whipping Cream
- 1 tbsp liquid Honey
- ½ Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped
- ½ cup Amarula Cream Liqueur
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp Whipping cream, cold
Chocolate Sponge cake
- 5 large Egg Yolks, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated Sugar
- 40 ml Whole Milk, lukewarm
- 40 ml Water, at room temperature
- 50 ml Canola Oil
- ¾ cup Cake Flour
- 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 5 large Egg Whites, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated Sugar
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 2 cups diced Pears – about 1½ pears, ripe but firm
- ¼ tsp ground Nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground Ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground Cloves
- 2 tsp Lemon Zest
- Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. A special note about chocolate: this recipe was made with white couverture chocolate that contains at least 31% cocoa butter, which is higher than most eating chocolate, such as chocolate bars. The cocoa butter sets the ganache in the recipe, so it’s important to use a couverture chocolate, and not eating chocolate.
- Place the whipping cream, vanilla seeds, and honey into a small saucepan. Cook it over medium heat until it is simmering slightly. Do not boil the cream, as it might cause splitting in the ganache.
- Pour the hot cream into the chocolate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid, and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir the chocolate from the middle, using a rubber spatula. When all the chocolate has melted and the mixture becomes smooth, incorporate the Amarula Cream Liqueur and cold cream. Transfer the mixture into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. Place the ganache in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight, before using.
- When you’re ready to assemble the cake, place the ganache into a bowl and whip on high speed in a stand mixer, or hand mixer with the whisk attachment, for about one minute, until the ganache increases in volume and is light in texture and colour.
Chocolate Sponge Cake
- Line the bottom of a half pan (18 by 13 inches) with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and set a rack to the centre of the oven.
- Place the egg yolk in a medium bowl, add the ⅓ cup sugar and whisk until it becomes pale in colour. Add in the milk, water, and oil. Whisk until the liquid is cohesive.
- Sift in the dry ingredients – cake four, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. Do not overmix, otherwise the cake might become dense and dry.
- Place the egg whites in a stand mixer bowl. Whip the egg whites with a whisk attachment on high until the egg whites become frothy. You can also use a hand mixer for this. Sprinkle in the ½ cup sugar in three additions, mixing thoroughly before adding the next. Whip the egg whites and sugar to a soft-peak stage – when you lift up the whisk, the mixture “tip” should be firm, but fall back slightly.
- When the egg whites are ready, mix a third of it into the flour mixture with a whisk until the batter is cohesive. Lightly fold in the rest of the egg whites using a rubber spatula until well combined. Be careful not to overmix, as you may deflate the batter too much.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread and smooth the batter with an offset spatula or a bench scraper. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until the cake is set. You can test the centre with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, it is ready. Cool the cake before assembling.
- Place the sugar in a small saucepan, and cook it over medium-high heat. Without stirring the sugar, slowly swirl the pan while it caramelizes to an amber colour.
- Stir in the diced pears and cook until the liquid reduces by about one-third. Take the pears off the heat, and stir in the spices and lemon zest. Allow to cool until ready to assemble.
Assembling your dessert
- Run a paring knife around the edge of the cake. Carefully flip the cake onto a clean parchment paper. Carefully peel off the parchment paper baked onto the bottom of the cake that is now facing up.
- Spread about half of the ganache onto the sponge cake sheet. Sprinkle the spiced pears evenly onto the ganache. Store the reserved half of the ganache in the fridge.
- Lift the parchment paper to roll the cake from the bottom long end. Roll as you lift off the paper, trying to roll it as tightly as you can, without pressing out the ganache. You can use a rolling pin to help if you wish.
- Wrap the rolled cake in the parchment and fold in the ends. Transfer the cake into the fridge to chill and set for at least an hour before cutting into it.
- Transfer the chilled cake onto a serving platter. Serve in slices with fresh fruit garnish.