Spiced Pear and Chocolate Spring Rolls

Have you ever made something which you didn’t think was particularly good, but it sort of worked at the time?  And have you ever then had someone take a photograph of that same thing, seemingly oblivious to all of its faults?  And then has that photograph ever proceeded to be shared with just about everyone. on. earth?   And then, have you ever had to live with seeing that photograph here there and everywhere; trying not to, but still noticing every single time you see it that it is really not what you would have wanted that thing to be at all?

Such is the case of me and this here photograph below:

Let me explain.  I made this dish in about ten minutes during the Freshly Blogged final cook off.  The pastry was a little dry when I opened the packet which made it a bit difficult to work with.  Because I was in such a hurry, I never sealed the edges properly and so of course the one spring roll unraveled in the hot oil and reached the plate looking, well meh.  Let’s call that the first fault.  The plate I chose was a little too small and the dipping bowl by comparison a little too big.  Let’s call a lack of visual proportion the second fault.

Now let’s move on to the less obvious things.  You may know that pears cannot in fact be caramelized and coaxed into full flavour over a slow heat in less than ten minutes.  I also never really added as much as I could have in terms of flavour to the pears to begin with, so let’s call too crisp and not well flavoured pears the third fault.  And finally, I don’t want to serve it with caramel sauce any more.  I want to slap myself for making it.  I want to know why I did it.  I want to take it off the plate and throw it on the floor.   And that accounts quite possibly for faults four through ten.

Hindsight is 20/20

This is a Phrase used to describe the fact that it is easy for one to be knowledgeable about an event after it has happened. In such a circumstance then, an individual has a realization about the event that should have been obvious all along, yet they didn’t catch on because they were acting in the heat of the moment, allowing one to learn from their mistakes.                                                                              (Paraphrasing the Urban Dictionary here.)

Anyway thanks to the obvious benefits of hind sight, I can now present an improved version of this dish, cooked at my leisure, actually eaten this time, and deemed by all who tried it to be very very good.

This second attempt has not changed the first dish, nor has it made me not want to click my tongue whenever I see that photograph, but it certainly has made me feel a whole lot better.

I guess a little sweet and spice will do that to you.

I love how this recipe turned out with the cardamom Crème Anglaise instead of the caramel sauce.  I am a huge fan of cardamom, I have used it here and here before, but even if I wasn’t, I would still think it a perfect fit for the gentle spice on the pears.

This recipe will make about 24 small spring rolls.  If you are not sure how to roll spring rolls please visit the step by step photo tutorial I did earlier this week over at Rhodes.  I promise you it is really easy once you get the hang of it.



Spiced Pear and Chocolate Spring Rolls
Serves: 6
  • 2 Tbsps. honeycomb butter
  • 4 pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 whole Star Anise
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • Spring roll pastry
  • Water for brushing
  • Oil for frying
  • Cinnamon sugar for dusting
  • Cardamom Crème Anglaise
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the pear pieces.
  2. Add the star anise, ground ginger and sugar.
  3. Cook over a low heat stirring occasionally, until the pears are soft and spiced.
  4. Remove the star anise and cool.
  5. Stir in the chocolate.
  6. Roll the filling into spring rolls using the water to seal the edges well. (See tutorial here).
  7. To make the Crème Anglaise, tear the cardamom pods open and place into a saucepan with the milk.
  8. Scald the milk.
  9. Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar in a separate bowl.
  10. Whisk in the warm milk.
  11. Strain the egg custard into the top of a double boiler and stir until the custard coats the back of a spoon.
  12. Set aside.
  13. Heat the oil (190˚C if using an electric fryer) and fry the spring rolls a few at a time, turning during cooking until they are evenly golden and crisp.
  14. Drain on paper towel and then toss in the cinnamon sugar.
  15. Serve warm with the Crème Anglaise.


8 Comments on Spiced Pear and Chocolate Spring Rolls

  1. Jamie
    October 11, 2013 at 11:09 am (6 years ago)

    I love this post… I love when bakers and cooks think through their process out loud, winding their way from one place to another and finally to a grand conclusion (or several different conclusions). I can see how the crème anglaise works just so perfectly with the pear and chocolate and oooh the crunch of a spring roll is so much better than a pie or cake. Perfect! I am so glad you perfected this for us! And a huge huge congratulations once again on your grand win!

    • Sam Taylor
      October 14, 2013 at 11:43 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you Jamie. It is definitely cathartic to right down exactly what you think without the obstacle of compulsive self editing, a wonderfully purposeful writing exercise I think.

  2. anna @ annamayeveryday
    October 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm (6 years ago)

    These flavours sound a very good combination, I like cardamom and think it works so well in sweet things as well as the more traditional savoury. I enjoyed reading how this dish started out, like you I need to make things again until I achieve what I set out to!

    • Sam Taylor
      October 14, 2013 at 11:47 am (6 years ago)

      Hi Anna. More and more I am starting to think we should share the not so good along with the greats to keep things in perspective for those that stop by to read our kitchen escapades. I enjoyed visiting your blog and am delighted you “introduced” yourself.

    • Sam Taylor
      October 23, 2013 at 8:38 am (6 years ago)

      The perfume on the cardamom pods does lend itself to sweetness, I agree.

  3. Ronelle @yehbabyct
    October 23, 2013 at 4:48 am (6 years ago)

    This looks delicious. And as for your intro, I don’t know about you, but artists are almost never satisfied. There is always another avenue to explore!

    • Sam Taylor
      October 23, 2013 at 8:39 am (6 years ago)

      Ronelle, I think you may be right, we are always our own worst critic.


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