It is always pure delight when a dish tastes as good as it looks, right?! This chocolate + pear torte combination was so divine, and the Chantilly cream is oh so tasty. I couldn’t get the rich decadent chocolate flavor or the smoothness of the cream off my mind for many hours after the last bite. I have no doubt that Seth’s autumn dessert concoction would be the perfect way to impress your friends and family during this holiday season. The pears alone would be the tastiest after dinner treat. Enjoy!

Hazelnut Chocolate Torte w/ Syrah Poached Pears and Chantilly

Syrah Poached Pears:


  • 4 ripe pears ( I like to use Bosc or Bartlett for this recipe )
  • 1 bottle of Syrah (I’m partial to Washington Syrah’s, since the climate and soil in Walla Walla makes for super inky / Jamy Syrah’s)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon


Juice the lemon and reserve juice.  Peel the pears from top to bottom, try to retain the stems (makes for a nicer finished product) Once the pears are peeled, place in a bowl and spoon some of the lemon juice over them to help prevent oxidation.

In a wide saucepot add the cloves / peppercorns / bay leaf.  Bring the pot over medium high heat and let the ingredients toast but do not burn (2-3 minutes) add the bottle of wine and sugar and let simmer for 3 minutes.  Turn the heat down to medium – low heat, add pears and poach on one side for 3-5 minutes.  Turn the pears over and continue to poach for 3-5 minutes.  Continue this process until you reach the color and consistency you are looking for.  Do not overcook the pears!!  Remove the pears cover and refrigerate.  Continue to cook the poaching liquid until it becomes the consistency of syrup.  Pour the finished syrup into a sieve over a bowl and reserve.

Hazelnut Chocolate Torte:


  • 1 stick good quality butter
  • 1 ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 6 oz good quality chocolate 60-70% cacao
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 large eggs (separated)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whisky
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

*9-inch springform pan and parchment paper is required*


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Butter bottom and side of springform pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper.  Cut to remove the existing paper around the edges.

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium high heat until they begin to toast and become fragrant.  Once toasted, remove the nuts and place in a kitchen towel and rub together until the skins are removed.

Slowly melt butter and chocolate together over a double boiler, keep warm but do not let burn.

Place cooled hazelnuts in a food processor with flour and 2 tablespoons sugar and pulse until they are the consistency of corn meal.  Do not over blend or you well end up with hazelnut butter.

Stir together the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a large bowl.  Stir in chocolate mixture, add nut mixture, vanilla, and whisky and stir together, and set aside.

Beat the remaining egg whites with a pinch of salt in a standing kitchen mixer or handheld electric mixer at a medium high speed until stiff peaks are evident.    Fold ¼ of egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then add the remaining egg whites and continue to fold until evenly incorporated.  Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Check doneness by poking a toothpick into the center of the torte, if it comes out relatively clean, you are good to go!

Transfer to a rack and cool completely in the pan for over an hour.  Run a knife around the edge to release the torte, and then remove side of pan.  Dust with confection sugar.

Chantilly Cream:


1-cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons confection sugar

½ teaspoon real vanilla extract


Combine all the ingredients into a metal bowl and whisk by hand or with electric mixer.  Whip until soft peeks form.  Once you reach the right consistency, cover and refrigerate.  If it separates, just re-whip by hand with whisk.

Note: Try to whip by hand; it’s a good challenge!  Plus, after eating this dessert you will be happy you burnt some calories!


Re-heat the poaching liquid / syrup.  Cut the pears in half (length wise) cut long thin slices of each half while retaining its normal shape. This will allow you to fan out the pear.

Place a slice of the torte on a desert plate; fan out the pear over the torte, drizzle the syrup over the torte and pear and finish with a dollop of Chantilly.

FF Collective : {photography : Monica Hines | food & recipe development : Seth Hines | styling & art direction : Jenn Elliott Blake | tabletop decor : Ludlow Home | custom graphics & titles : Amy Moore


1 Comment


Wow, this looks delicious! Pears are amazing poached.

oh mr bear

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