Pear tart and banoffee pavlova: Chetna Makan’s easy baking recipes – The Guardian

It’s just as well that this pear and chocolate tarte tatin and banoffee chocolate meringue are uncomplicated to make, because they’ll be gone in a flash
Two easy baked puddings to see you through early autumn. First, my banana chocolate pavlova, a dreamy combination of banoffee on a chocolate-flavoured meringue – the combination of crunch, cream and caramel makes it outstandingly decadent, belying its simplicity. The tarte tatin, meanwhile, is ideal at this time of the year, using seasonal pears, which, when cooked with the star anise caramel, absorb the warmth of the spice. Dark chocolate and hazelnuts add drama, as do lashings of fresh cream or ice-cream.
Banana and toffee is a combination I can’t say no to, especially if it’s served on chocolate-flavoured meringue. This dessert disappears in seconds once it hits the table in our house.
Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Serves 8
For the meringue
4 egg whites
caster sugar
1 t
sp cornflour
dark chocolate (70 % cocoa solids), melted and slightly cooled
For the topping
3 tbsp unsalted butter
4 bananas
, peeled and halved lengthways
4–6 tbsp salted caramel sauce
double cream
2 t
bsp caster sugar

Heat the oven to 120C (100C fan)/240F/gas low. Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Draw a 20cm circle on the paper and turn it over, so the pencil mark is on the bottom, but still visible.
In a bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then whisk in the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, until combined. Add the cornflour, whisk until the mixture is glossy and stiff, then drizzle in the cooled melted chocolate and fold in gently – be careful not to overmix.
Spread the meringue on the prepared tray, inside the confines of the circle and in the shape of a crater, so the sides are a little higher than the middle. Bake for an hour and a half, until crisp and dried out, then remove and leave to cool.
Heat the butter in a saucepan, then add the bananas and cook, stirring gently, for two or three minutes, until caramelised on both sides. Set aside to cool.
When you are ready to serve, whip the cream and sugar to soft peaks. Put the meringue on a serving plate and spoon the cream over the top. Top with the caramelised bananas, drizzle over the caramel sauce and serve immediately.
A perfect way to end a meal: a flaky pastry base with soft pears covered in star anise caramel, nuts and chocolate.

Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 6
1 x 320g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
unsalted butter
caster sugar
1 t
sp ground star anise
4–6 pears
, peeled, halved lengthways and cored
50g roasted, chopped hazelnuts
50g dark chocolate (70 % cocoa solids), roughly chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Before you start cooking, unroll the pastry. Take a 20–23cm ovenproof frying pan and cut out a circle of pastry the size of the pan. Put the pastry on a tray and refrigerate until needed.
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Put the butter and sugar in the frying pan, cook on a low heat for five to six minutes until caramelised, then stir in the star anise.
Take the pan off the heat and lay the pear halves cut side up on top of the caramel, keeping their narrow ends in the centre. Brush some of the caramel over the pears, then bake for 30 minutes, until the pears are soft.
Sprinkle the hazelnuts in the gaps between the pears, then scatter over the chocolate. Place the pastry circle on top and tuck it down at the edges of the pan around the pears.
Using a knife, make cuts all over the pastry to let out steam, then brush with beaten egg and bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden. Leave it to rest for a minute, then turn out on to a plate, slice and serve.
Recipes extracted from Chetna’s Easy Baking: With a Twist of Spice, published by Octopus at £20. To order a copy for £17.40, go to


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